“Buy now, pay later” companies have exploded in popularity over the past year, largely through integration into retailers’ online checkout platforms. Often presented during checkout next to traditional payment methods like credit and debit cards, BNPL companies invite consumers to make purchases over a few payments with zero interest. There are, however, fees for missed payments, late payments, or payments rejected for insufficient funds. Moreover, BNPL offerings may occupy a gray zone apart from typical credit transactions or loans which could exempt them from all sorts of laws and regulations.
Continue Reading Challenges for “Buy Now, Pay Later” Industry May Affect Retailers

The National Advertising Division of BBB National Programs recently examined advertising claims by Straight Smile, LLC (Byte), seller of direct-to-consumer teeth aligners, recommending that Byte provide clear disclosures when reviewers of its product receive incentives in exchange for posting reviews.
Continue Reading Give it to Consumers Straight: NAD Recommends Clear Disclosures for Incentivized Reviews of Teeth Straightening Brand

A group of Democratic representatives led by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) have introduced a “Safer Beauty” bill package that would ban certain chemicals in cosmetics and require more ingredient transparency in the supply chain.
Continue Reading “Safer Beauty” Bill Package Targets PFAS, Phthalates, Formaldehyde, and Other Common Chemicals in Cosmetics

Retailers, beware! The new wave in the fight against “robocalls” is coming, and it’s targeting telemarketing text messages. In the past six months, we have seen an uptick in activity at both the state and federal level to rein in telemarketing text messages, and companies using any kind of text messaging telemarketing will want to proceed with caution.    
Continue Reading Scary Halloween Stories: Fight Against Robocalls Is Coming for Telemarketing Text Messages

The Recall Roundup is a monthly survey of regulatory activity affecting the manufacture, distribution, and sale of consumer products. Subject matter may include the latest product recalls, federal agency major developments, and proposed or new federal rules. The blog’s goal is to provide an overview, rather than a comprehensive report on every development that could potentially affect businesses or consumers. Nothing herein constitutes legal advice. If you have questions or comments about the blog, please reach out to the authors.
Continue Reading Recall Roundup: September

Today, the FTC announced it had sent “Notices of Penalty Offense” to over 700 businesses, including top consumer products companies, large retailers, tech platforms, media and gaming companies, and ad agencies, warning them against engaging in deceptive and unfair practices when it comes to using endorsements and testimonials in ads.
Continue Reading FTC Issues Notice of Penalty Offenses to Over 700 Retailers: Companies Now on “Notice” of Civil Penalty Jeopardy

The CPSC (by a 3-1 vote) recently filed an administrative complaint against Amazon.com, Inc. seeking to force the characterization of Amazon as a “distributor” of products under the Consumer Product Safety Act.  If the CPSC prevails on that characterization, Amazon would become responsible under the CPSA for recalling potentially hazard products sold via its “fulfilled by Amazon” program.
Continue Reading Recall Roundup: July

The COVID-19 pandemic caused supply chain interruptions across industries, from toilet paper and cleaning supplies, to red meat.  Although most states have resumed close to “normal” capacity and operations, the nation still faces an historic and unprecedented lumber shortage.  As a result of this perfect storm, prices for lumber and other building materials have skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic, and have only just begun to fall, as the increasing supply struggles to catch up with still very high demand.
Continue Reading Pandemic Demand Causes Unprecedented Building Supply Shortage