The chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, Edith Ramirez, has announced that the FTC is significantly increasing scrutiny and enforcement of mainstream advertising by reputable companies. Chairwoman Ramirez recently said that the FTC is increasing enforcement against not only “outright fraud,” but also national advertising campaigns. The FTC’s recent approach of vigorous false advertising enforcement is intended to support the goal that, as the chairwoman stated, “advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive.”
As part of this aggressive push, the FTC has launched “Operation Full Disclosure,” a truth-in-advertising campaign that already includes FTC-issued “warning letters” to more than 60 companies regarding inadequate disclosures in their advertising. The sweeping goal stated by Chairwoman Ramirez suggests that even credible advertising claims may encounter FTC investigation, saying that the FTC will push its campaign “until we are confident the industry understands the need for ‘clear and conspicuous’ disclosures, and what ‘clear and conspicuous’ means.” It is important to note that the FTC has clearly said that not receiving a “Full Disclosure” letter doesn’t mean anything: you could still be in the crosshairs.
Read the full client alert.