On January 26, 2024, the FTC announced that it had entered into an agreement with tractor maker Kubota North America Corporation, settling allegations that Kubota falsely labeled some of its replacement parts as “Made in USA” despite manufacturing those parts entirely overseas. The FTC’s complaint was filed along with a consent order that requires Kubota to pay a $2 million civil penalty, the largest penalty ever assessed for violations of the FTC’s Made in USA Labeling Rule.
Continue Reading FTC Announces $2 Million Penalty Against Tractor Maker for False “Made in USA” Product Claims

On December 13, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed Senate Bill S1048A into law, requiring sellers that impose credit card surcharges to post the total price, inclusive of the surcharge. In addition, the surcharge to customers may not exceed the amount of the surcharge charged to the business by the credit card company for such credit card use. Per the legislative history, “This bill is necessary to prevent consumers from being misled when making a purchase using their credits cards.”
Continue Reading New York Law Targets Hidden Credit Card Fees

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that it will hold an informal hearing on February 13, 2024 on the agency’s proposed rule banning fake reviews and testimonials. As we reported in July 2023, the FTC is proposing to ban business from using illicit review and endorsement practices such as using fake reviews, suppressing honest negative reviews, and paying for positive reviews, which deceive consumers looking for real feedback on a product or service and undercut honest businesses.
Continue Reading FTC Will Hold Informal Hearing on Fake Reviews Rule

Last week, the FTC sent high profile warning letters to two trade associations, the American Beverage Association (AmeriBev) and the Canadian Sugar Institute, and 12 registered dieticians regarding inadequate disclosures in the dieticians’ social media posts. While the specific influencer posts varied across dietician, they all related to the safety of aspartame, an artificial sweetener, and other messaging regarding the benefits of consuming sugar-containing products.
Continue Reading FTC Warns Influencers and Trade Associations to Be Much More Specific About Ties

As we reported Friday, the FTC has proposed a rule to ban misleading and hidden fees. While that initiative is pending, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed similar legislation, SB 478, into law. Effective July 1, 2024, the California statute prohibits advertising, displaying, or offering a price for a good or service that does not include all mandatory fees or charges other than taxes or fees imposed by a government on the transaction, or postage or carriage charges that will be reasonably and actually incurred to ship the physical good to the consumer.
Continue Reading California Passes Legislation Banning Junk Fees

The FTC announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) targeting misleading and hidden fees, commonly known as “junk fees,” and how businesses may advertise and market prices to consumers. The NPRM was drafted based on over 2,000 public comments to the FTC’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published in November 2022.
Continue Reading FTC Proposes Rule Banning “Junk Fees”

BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) has released new Guardrails for Child-Directed Advertising and Privacy in the Metaverse. As explained in a BBB press release, the Guardrails are intended to provide companies with best practices as they navigate the complexities of engaging with children in metaverse experiences.
Continue Reading CARU Releases Guidelines for Advertising to Children in the Metaverse

The FTC announced an enforcement action against online shoe seller Hey Dude, Inc. (a subsidiary of Crocs, Inc.) alleging Hey Dude suppressed more than 80% of consumer reviews that provided less than four out of five stars. The complaint also alleges multiple violations of the FTC’s Mail Order Rule between 2020 and 2022. A proposed consent order would require Hey Dude to pay nearly $2 million and take certain steps to prevent future violations.
Continue Reading Hey Dude: Review Suppression is Illegal and You’re Obligated to Ship Goods on Time

The FTC took action last week against a group of New England-based clothing accessories companies for making false claims that certain of its products were “Made in USA.”
Continue Reading Made in the USA-ish: FTC Charges Clothing Accessories Companies for False “Hand Crafted in USA” Claims