FTC Endorsement Guidelines

Following up on the new Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule that went into effect on July 1, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission has released an updated set of FAQs to provide additional clarity and information about the new Rule. Notably, the FAQs provide further guidance on COPPA’s “actual knowledge” standard as well as regarding the newly added and revised categories of personal information included in the new Rule.
Continue Reading FTC Updates COPPA FAQs

On October 1, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission issued revised “Guides For The Use Of Environmental Marketing Claims” – the “Green Guides,” 16 CFR Part 260. The Green Guides originally were issued in 1992 and were revised in 1996 and 1998. The review resulting in the latest revisions began in November 2007.

The Green Guides set forth the FTC’s views concerning environmental claims and are intended to help marketers avoid making environmental marketing claims that are unfair or deceptive and thus violative of Section 5 of the FTC Act. The Guides are administrative interpretations of the law and thus do not have the force and effect of law. However, the FTC can take action under the FTC Act if a marketer makes an environmental claim that is inconsistent with the Guides.


Continue Reading FTC Issues Revised “Green Guides”

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Think again. No one wants their reputation, the name of their business, or their products dragged through the mud on the Internet. There are now web specialists called “online reputation managers,” who claim to manipulate Internet search results so the negative links will appear further down the list of results, and hopefully be missed. The lead story in the New York Times, Sunday Styles Section (April 3, 2011), “Erasing The Digital Past,” describes a few companies in this business, and their fee structures which can average from $5,000 to $10,000 a month for high level executives or celebrities, to $120 to $600 a year for run of the mill cases.
Continue Reading Before You Hire That Online Reputation Manager, Consider Your Legal Alternatives

Web businesses have fueled the natural cynicism that consumers have when reading online reviews. There are too many reported instances of businesses or PR firms using employees or paid reviewers to post glowing reviews, and, in addition, mark as unhelpful negative reviews of their respective businesses.
Continue Reading ‘Astroturfing’ With Fake Reviews Exposes A Company to Legal Risk

Words matter. Words can come back and bite you. Think before you speak. These are all self-evident truths that no one is likely to dispute. Yet, we continue to see examples of people, who should know better, doing just the opposite. This is especially true in the context of electronic communications – first, in work emails, and now, on social media websites. If it was a simple matter of personal embarrassment alone, then there would be no need for this article. This is not the case however.
Continue Reading Why Every Business Should Have A Social Media Policy

Words matter. Words can come back and bite you. Think before you speak. These are all self-evident truths that no one is likely to dispute. Yet, we continue to see examples of people, who should know better, doing just the opposite. This is especially true in the context of electronic communications – first, in work emails, and now, on social media websites. If it was a simple matter of personal embarrassment alone, then there would be no need for this article. This is not the case however. 
 


Continue Reading Why Every Business Should Have A Social Media Policy