In late 2021, the California Statewide Commission on Recycling Markets and Curbside Recycling asked the state’s Attorney General, Rob Bonta, and the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery to crack down on inappropriate use of recycling symbols on plastic bags, including the “chasing arrows” logo and the words “recycle” and “recyclable.” According to the Commission, confused California consumers place these mislabeled bags out for curbside collection, which forces recycling companies to spend time pulling these soft plastics out of the waste stream or fixing jammed machines.
Continue Reading California to Shore up Already-Robust Plastic Bag Enforcement

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

Following the recent trend of retailers abandoning gendered store sections and product lines, California has passed legislation that will force certain large retailers to adopt non-gendered children’s sections in California store locations.
Continue Reading New California Legislation will Require Some Retailers to Adopt Gender Neutral Children’s Sections by 2024

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 Children’s Advertising Review Unit, a part of BBB National Programs, released its revised Children’s Advertising Guidelines earlier this month. These new Guidelines will go into effect in January 2022 and contain some notable changes.
Continue Reading Children’s Advertising Review Unit Issues Revised Guidelines for Advertising to Children

At the Federal Trade Commission’s July 1 meeting, it finalized a new “Made in USA” Rule that was almost two decades in the making. The FTC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in June 2020 and received 700 comments from stakeholders. During that time, the FTC has aggressively policed Made in USA claims (through an enforcement policy statement), settling a historic, million dollar follow-on Made in USA enforcement action and obtaining a six-figure settlement with an online retailer.
Continue Reading FTC Finalizes “Made in USA” Rule in Partisan Split

In 1973, Congress amended the FTC Act by adding §13(b), giving the Federal Trade Commission equitable powers to remediate any violation of any law under its purview.  Using that power, the FTC has sought equitable monetary relief, including restitution and disgorgement. The lower courts routinely authorized such relief and Congress seemingly acknowledged the FTC’s power when it reauthorized the FTC Act.
Continue Reading In a Rebuke to Longstanding FTC Approach, Supreme Court Rules FTC Cannot Rely on “Injunction” Provision to Obtain Equitable Monetary Relief