Interactive Counsel

Arent Fox's interactive media law blog - latest news and trends in advertising, data security & privacy, and IP.

Interactive Counsel
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Arent Fox Once Again Named ‘Best Place to Work’ by Human Rights Campaign

Arent Fox LLP has received a perfect score in a national benchmarking survey administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The firm is one of 350 major US businesses to earn top marks in the 2014 workplace equality report on corporate policies and practices for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees.

“We are once again honored to receive this recognition from the Human Rights Campaign,” said Chairman Mark M. Katz, who also leads the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. “At Arent Fox, we believe that first-rate legal counsel and exceptional service is the product of a strong, diverse workplace that champions the values of equality and respect.”

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E-Commerce, Mobile Marketing, Payment Processing, Electronic Fund Transfers & Mobile Payments, Privacy & Security, User-Generated Content
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‘Killing the Password Dead’ and Other Updates in Cybersecurity

The Obama Administration has announced a series of initiatives to address the growing number of data breaches at major retailers. Millions of Americans and thousands of retailers have been the victims of data breaches over the past year, and consumers and legislators alike are increasingly looking for ways to secure sensitive data such as payment card account numbers. The most recent initiatives from the Administration focus on upgrading identity verification methods and point of sale terminals and could indicate the beginning of a major shift in data security practices among the nation’s retailers.

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Advertising
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Results of Caffeinated Shapewear? Slim to None

Two Women’s Shapewear Marketers Settle FTC Charges of Deceptive Weight Loss and Slimming Claims


What’s the News?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently settled with two separate marketers of women’s undergarments over charges that the companies made false and misleading claims about the weight loss and fat burning benefits of caffeine-infused shapewear products. Norm Thompson Outfitters, Inc. and Wacoal America, Inc. each sold women’s shapewear infused with caffeine and other ingredients. The companies claimed that the shapewear could substantially slim a wearer’s thighs and hips and break down cellulite.

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Advertising, E-Commerce, Mobile Marketing, Privacy & Security, Social Media, User-Generated Content
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BOGO? More Like ‘No Go’

FTC Brings First Case Under Federal Negative Option Law

What’s Making News?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently brought its first case under the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA), a 2010 federal law that prohibits online sellers from charging consumers in an Internet transaction unless the seller has clearly disclosed all material terms of the transaction and obtained consumers’ express informed consent.

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Advertising
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FTC Breaks Down Biodegradable Requirements in Recent Warning Letters

What’s Making News?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently sent out 15 letters warning makers of plastic bags that claims indicating that such bags are “oxodegradable,” “oxo biodegradable,” or “biodegradable” may be viewed as deceptive under the Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (the Green Guides). According to the letters, the claims fail to comply with Green Guides requirements.

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Advertising, Promotions, Sweepstakes & Contests, E-Commerce
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Are You Behaving? Targeted Advertising Enforcement Ramping Up

What’s Making News?

The Better Business Bureau’s Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program (Accountability Program) recently challenged Best Buy, Yelp, Answers Corp., Buzzfeed Inc., and Go.com over the companies’ failure to provide adequate notice regarding the fact that information was collected from their sites for online behavioral advertising (OBA) purposes. This marks the first cases issued as part of the Accountability Program’s promised Compliance Warning review.

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Mobile Marketing, Payment Processing, Electronic Fund Transfers & Mobile Payments, Advertising
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AT&T Mobility to Pay $105 Million in Mobile Cramming Settlement

Yesterday, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler, and two state attorneys general representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia held a press conference to announce a significant enforcement action against AT&T Mobility for unlawfully billing customers for unauthorized third-party charges, also known as “cramming.”

At the press conference, the officials announced a $105 million settlement with AT&T to resolve state and federal mobile cramming investigations. AT&T will pay $80 million to the FTC, which will administer refunds to consumers, $20 million in penalties to the 50 states and DC, and $5 million in penalties to the FCC. This is the largest cramming settlement and largest FCC enforcement action in history.

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Advertising, Product Placement & Distribution, Payment Processing, Electronic Fund Transfers & Mobile Payments
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Mailin’ It In: The FTC Gives the Mail Order Rule a Makeover

The News

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced changes to the “Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise” Rule (a.k.a., the Mail Order Rule) aimed at updating the Rule for the 21st century and easing the costs of compliance. The Rule also got a new name and will now be known as the “Mail, Internet, or Telephone Order Merchandise” Rule. The changes will take effect on December 8, 2014.

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Privacy & Security
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FTC Lends Support to Federal Geolocation Data Bill

What’s the News?

In testimony before the US Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this summer, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lent its support to federal legislation that would require businesses to obtain “affirmative express consent” from consumers before collecting geolocation data from mobile devices.

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Advertising
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FTC Springs into Action Against National Advertisers

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on September 23, 2014 that it recently completed a nationwide advertising review that resulted in warning letters to more than 60 advertisers. The review, termed “Operation Full Disclosure” by the FTC, targeted companies that failed to make proper disclosures in their television and print advertisements. In particular, the FTC sought out ads where important information needed to prevent consumers from being mislead was either contained in the fine print or otherwise hard to locate.

The FTC has consistently stated that advertisements must clearly and conspicuously disclose material information to consumers. Simply put, “consumers should be able to notice disclosures easily; they should not have to look for them.”

The FTC provided some examples of targeted conduct:

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ABOUT ARENT FOX LLP

Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.