600 Penn: FTC Priorities and Recent Enforcement Actions

FTC Bureau Chief Outlines Enforcement Priorities at IAPP Conference

David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection stressed that the FTC’s future privacy enforcement priorities will involve (i) more cases involving “pure privacy”, i.e., cases involving practices that try to circumvent consumer’s expectations (such as the Sears case where Sears failed to fully disclose the data collected);  (ii) a greater focus on new technologies as the FTC has hired technologists to assist in this effort; and (iii) increased international cooperation.

More Info: Vladeck Presents Vision for Future Privacy Protection at IAPP Academy, Chronicle of Data Protection.

FTC Getting Stricter on Environmental Claims

The FTC has released proposed new guidelines for environmental claims, explaining that blanket, general claims that a product is “environmentally friendly” or “eco-friendly” are confusing to consumers since such claims are likely to suggest that the product has specific and far-reaching environmental benefits that very few products have.  The FTC also urged caution in the use of certifications or seals of approval without specifying the basis for such certification.

More Info: FTC Release and Proposed Changes.

Pom Fires Back at FTC

After the FTC slapped Pom with a deceptive advertisement complaint for making unsubstantiated health claims about its juice products, Pom fired back accusing the FTC of zealotry and filing ts own suit alleging that the FTC requirement that health claims be approved by the FDA violates the First Amendment since it bars otherwise truthful claims.

More Info: POM Wonderful Creator: FTC Official is ‘Zealot’, Wall Street Journal, FTC Slaps Pom With Deceptive Advertisng Suit, The BLT

Google Money Tree Marketing Enters Consent Decree

Infusion Media, Inc.; West Coast Internet Media, Inc.; Two Warnings, LLC; Two Part Investments, LLC; and Platinum Teleservices, Inc entered into a $30MM consent decree with the FTC for their Google Money Tree campaigns which were bogus get rich quick schemes that failed to disclose the recurring charges consumers would have to pay and falsely claimed an affilation with Google.


More Info: Busted and Exposed Bogus Work At Home Schemes That Falsely Used Google’s Name, Before Its News.