The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has been cracking down on brands for paying Instagram users to endorse their products or to share brand content without disclosing the relationship. Indeed, the recent settlements entered between the FTC and several media and entertainment companies as well as a specialty retailer make it clear that the FTC is paying close attention to endorsements of all kinds – whether by celebrities, sponsors, or paid “influencers.”
In its opinion in In re California Naturel, Inc., the Federal Trade Commission held that the California Naturel, Inc. advertising promoting its “all natural” sunscreen on its website as containing “only the purest, most luxurious and effective ingredients found in nature” violated Section 5 and 12 of the FTC Act. The opinion, written by Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, noted that California Naturel admitted that eight percent of its sunscreen formula is in fact dimethicone, a synthetic ingredient.
On Tuesday, January 12, the NFL owners voted 30–2 to formally approve the relocation of the St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles, which concluded a hostile, multiple-year-long review process that ultimately deprives the city of St. Louis of its beleaguered NFL franchise that has called that city home since 1995. Also in Tuesday’s vote, NFL owners approved the possible relocation of the San Diego Chargers to Los Angeles to share a new stadium with the Rams. Chargers owner Dean Spanos has one year to decide whether to move the team or stay in San Diego and attempt to construct a new stadium there, where efforts have, thus far, been wholly unsuccessful. Continue Reading
A Federal Court in Washington state dismissed a Plaintiff’s class action claims that social casino games using purchasable virtual casino chips constitute gambling under Washington state law. The Court found that the virtual chips have no “value” and therefore the game did not constitute gambling because Plaintiff was not “staking or risking something of value.” Continue Reading
A Maryland Court recently dismissed a case in which Plaintiff alleged that a virtual currency casino within a social game constituted illegal gambling, despite the existence of a secondary market for the player accounts. For purposes of assessing whether the game was skill or chance-based game, the Court found that the social game, as a whole, was a game of skill, and refused to adopt the Plaintiff’s approach of considering the “casino” itself a chance-based game. This ruling is significant for social game companies that use virtual currency to engage in gamblification (i.e., the use of gambling mechanics for non-gambling purposes). Continue Reading
At the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) hearing on September 14, 2015, UFC star Nick Diaz sat in silence as he heard state commissioners Francisco V. Aguilar, Skip Avansino, Pat Lundvall, and Anthony A. Marnell III deliberate on the future of his career. Commissioner Lundvall suggested a lifetime ban from professional fighting. Commissioner Avansino balked; a lifetime ban seemed excessive. After all, although this was his third offense, Diaz had only tested positive for marijuana during his post-fight drug test, whereas his opponent, former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, had reportedly tested positive for steroids that same night, provoking a one-year ban and a $380,000 fine from NSAC.
This article was originally published in the Sports Litigation Alert. To read the entire article please click here, or visit the Sports Litigation Alert website.
The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled this morning that the Safe Harbor regime, which enables transatlantic data transfers from the European Union to the United States, is invalid, thereby giving each national supervisory authority the chance to revisit the question of whether the U. S. provides an adequate level of protection for EU citizens’ data. A copy of the decision be found here. Continue Reading
There is something to be said for keeping a low profile. Apparently, daily fantasy sports companies DraftKings and FanDuel are not fans of the idiom, as viewers that tuned in to week 1 action of the NFL were inundated with commercials from both companies. The volume of the ads apparently caught the attention of New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone who, as this article notes, has called for a hearing to explore the relationship of fantasy sports and gambling. Continue Reading
To the consternation of many, California law has long imposed a “Made in the U.S.A.” standard that has been more stringent than the federal standard, requiring manufacturers of all types who wanted to make a country of origin claim to adopt duel sets of packaging and labeling materials – one for California and one for the rest of the country. But California has now amended its “Made in the U.S.A. law” and taken a step toward the mainstream. On Tuesday, September 1, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 633, amending a portion of California’s Business & Professions Code known as the “Made in the U.S.A.” law. This amendment marks a break for California manufacturers and marketers, as it relaxes California’s standard for merchandise labeled as “Made in the U.S.A.” and aligns the state’s requirement more closely with the federal standard, widely followed by other states. Continue Reading
On June 23, 2015, the Ninth Circuit in Cabral v. Supple LLC, — Fed. Appx. –, 2015 WL 3855142 (9th Cir. June 23, 2015) placed a significant hurdle in the path of false advertising class actions. Specifically, the Court held that in class actions “based upon alleged misrepresentations in advertising and the like,” in order for common questions to predominate—an essential Rule 23(b) inquiry—“it is critical that the misrepresentation in question be made to all of the class members.” Continue Reading