Retailers and service providers should take note: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is increasing its scrutiny of negative option marketing activity to combat unfair or deceptive practices related to subscriptions, memberships and other recurring-payment programs. The FTC issued today a notice of proposed rulemaking as part of its ongoing review of its 1973 Negative Option Rule—one of the primary guides for the FTC’s enforcement focus.
Robert Hough is an associate in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the firm’s Dallas office. He is the lead associate of the Advertising Team.
We previously wrote about California Senate Bill 206, the “Fair Pay to Play Act,” back in April, and now Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed that bill into law. The law becomes effective on January 1, 2023. After numerous revisions to the bill since our last post, here is a quick look at the final product.
The new Fair Pay to Play Act allows California student-athletes to earn compensation from licensing their name and image and to obtain professional representation by lawyers and agents to assist with that effort, all without losing scholarship eligibility or amateur status under the National Collegiate Athletics Association’s (NCAA) Division I and II eligibility criteria. Importantly, the law specifically prohibits colleges, athletic associations and intercollegiate conferences from paying such compensation to prospective student-athletes.
Continue Reading California’s Fair Pay to Play Act: This is Only The First Quarter
Owlet Baby Care, Inc. advertised its “Smart Sock” baby monitor with prominent claims that the monitor offers parents “peace of mind,” and promises that babies will “be ok.” The ad message is qualified by disclaimers that the monitors are not medical devices and cannot be used to prevent or treat health conditions. The National Advertising Division (part of the Council of the Better Business Bureau), however, recently declared these disclaimers insufficient. The NAD was concerned that the advertising could be interpreted as saying the monitor could prevent SIDS or other illnesses.
Continue Reading NAD Recommends Improvements to Baby Monitor Performance Disclosures
We recently wrote about the Children’s Advertising Review Unit’s privacy-related enforcement against two mobile apps for children on our Eye on Privacy blog. But there’s more! CARU also took action based on several advertising-related violations.
For the first app, “My Talking Tom,” CARU addressed in-app advertisements to children. Under CARU’s Guidelines the “net impression” of an ad directed to children must not be misleading, must not blur the distinction between ad and game content, and must not advertise products that pose safety risks or portray inappropriate behavior. CARU identified several ads that promoted inappropriate products and services, others that did not contain adequate disclosures, and still others that contained content that appeared to be an integral part of the game, rather than ad content. CARU issued its decision on these issues, and the game operator modified the ad positioning and disclosures. CARU took no further action on these issues.
Continue Reading CARU Takes Action Against Two More Mobile Apps
California Senate Bill 206, the “Fair Pay to Play Act,” was amended again last month, and is making its way through the legislature under sponsorship by Sen. Nancy Skinner-D and Sen. Steven Bradford-D. If passed, the new law would pave the way for college athletes in California to earn compensation—including a stipend or other financial incentive from the college itself—for licensing their name, image, or likeness. The law would also allow athletes to obtain legal representation in connection with their participation in college sports, all while maintaining scholarship eligibility and amateurism under the National Collegiate Athletics Association’s (NCAA) Division I and II eligibility criteria.…
Continue Reading Faces and Names: Modern Issues in Athlete Publicity Licensing