Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

In the past year, the FTC has promoted consumers’ so-called “right to repair.” In particular, the FTC has focused on the “Anti-Tying Rule” of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (the “MMWA”), which limits manufacturers’ ability to steer consumers to manufacturer-affiliated repair shops. Plaintiffs’ firms have taken notice, filing a spate of class actions based on purported violations of the Anti-Tying Rule. These same firms have also filed a spate of consumer class actions against retailers alleging violations of the MMWA’s “Pre-Sale Availability Rule.” Manufacturers and retailers should confirm they are complying with the MMWA and state law.
Continue Reading FTC Complaints and Class Actions Send Warning to Consumer Product Manufacturers and Retailers: Double-Check Your Product Warranties

The FTC unanimously agreed to an enforcement action against American textile manufacturer Electrowarmth Products, LLC and the company’s owner for deceptively marketing its heated “bunk warmer” mattress pads products as Made in the USA.
Continue Reading FTC Brings Action Against Company Calling its Chinese-Produced Mattress Pads “Made-in-America”

The Federal Trade Commission and six states have filed suit against Roomster Corp. and two corporate executives, accusing the residential rental listing platform of using fake reviews and unverified listings to generate tens of millions of dollars in business. According to the complaint, these practices often occur at the expense of vulnerable customers who rely on Roomster to find safe low-cost housing within expensive housing markets.
Continue Reading Retailers Have No Room to Manipulate Reviews: FTC and States Sue Rental Listing Platform Roomster for Bogus Listings

On August 23, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission announced it is seeking additional public comment on “how children are affected by digital advertising and marketing messages that may blur the line between ads and entertainment” in conjunction with its “Protecting Kids from Stealth Advertising in Digital Media” event on October 19, 2022. The event will

The FTC, through the Department of Justice, has entered a settlement with two companies and the joint corporate President for falsely claiming that the LED lighting products and personal protective equipment they sold were “Assembled in the USA,” “Buy American Act Compliant,” “Manufactured in the USA” and “100% Made in the USA,” despite having been imported from China.
Continue Reading FTC Sues Importer of LED Bulbs and COVID-19 PPE for “Made in USA” Violations

The FTC voted today to issue revised proposed Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, aka, the “Endorsement Guides.” In a 5-0 vote, including a yes vote from the FTC’s newest Commissioner, Alvaro Bedoya, the FTC agreed to publish their proposal in the Federal Register and will take comment on the updates from the public. In addition, the FTC announced that it will hold a virtual event on October 19, 2022, in which it will consider the special challenges presented by advertising to children, especially children under 12 years of age.

Continue Reading FTC Votes to Issue Revised Endorsement Guides for Public Comment

The FTC continues its pursuit of deceptive Made in USA claims, this time with allegations that company Lions Not Sheep and its owner, Sean Whalen, marketed apparel as being “Made in USA,” “Made in America,” “100% AMERICAN MADE,” and “BEST DAMN AMERICAN MADE GEAR ON THE PLANET” when in fact the products were made in China.
Continue Reading Beware the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: FTC Takes Action Against Apparel Retailer Who Bragged He Could Rip Off Consumers by Ripping Out Made in China Tags

The FTC entered into a consent order with Lithionics Battery LLC and its General Manager, settling allegations the company misrepresented its lithium ion cells are made in the United States. This is the first case the FTC has brought under its new civil penalty authority provided in the Made in USA Labeling Rule, which we wrote about last summer.
Continue Reading FTC Brings First Civil Penalty Action Under New “Made in USA” Rule

Several retailers recently settled cases with the FTC over allegations they deceptively marketed “bamboo” textiles. These cases come as some of the first, if not the first, instances of the FTC using its revived civil penalty authority to punish initial offenses by retailers.
Continue Reading FTC Uses Civil Penalty Authority in Rayon-as-Bamboo Cases