The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates advertising and governs claims of deceptive trade practices at the federal level through enforcement of the FTC Act, which grants the FTC jurisdiction over unfair trade practices, and the Lanham Act, which provides relief for unfair competition. At the state level, trade practices issues are governed by a combination of state business opportunity and, where applicable, anti-pyramid laws.
We provide guidance to product manufacturers and sellers in the development of non-deceptive advertisements that comply with the standards set by the FTC (and its state equivalents) as they pertain to statements made in advertisements. Outside of the advertising context, we also provide guidance to companies to ensure that their business operations, by their nature, do not include trade practices that could be deemed deceptive. This includes companies engaged in lawful multi-level marketing (MLM), which is regulated by the same patchwork of state and federal laws devoted to deceptive trade practices in general. We provide guidance to our clients to ensure that they comply with all state and federal requirements.
Our services in the areas of advertising and trade practices regulation include:
- Review of a client’s or its competitor’s advertisements for deceptiveness and compliance with FTC policy and guidelines
- Consultation concerning the proper scope of comparative advertising claims to ensure substantiation and divert claims of disparagement or unfair competition
- Review and development of options to address a client’s competitor’s deceptive advertisements
- Consultation concerning our client’s operations and business practices, including the operation of MLM plans, to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations
- Negotiation with the FTC or other government agency, as appropriate, to resolve disputes over advertisements or business operations and avoid litigation
- When necessary, litigation of deceptive trade practices claims brought by the FTC or by private parties claiming deceptive trade practices or unfair competition