December 2010

The Dannon Order

When visiting an unfamiliar city, it helps to have a tour guide – a knowledgeable local to walk alongside you to point out the notable sights.

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Shedding Light on Effective Date of New Bulb Labels

Should manufacturers have more time to incorporate new light bulb labeling on their packaging? And should the new light bulb rule exempt certain bulbs that soon will be obsolete? The FTC is asking for public comment on those two questions.

The new labels, which were announced in July 2010, will help buyers choose among the different types of bulbs on store shelves — traditional incandescent bulbs, and newer high-efficiency compact fluorescent (CFL) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

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Four Steps to Protecting Your Business from Con Artists

You've just opened an invoice for office supplies you didn't order or for a listing in a business directory. It’s the same invoice you got last week – but this one is stamped "Past Due." Perhaps one of your colleagues says there's someone hounding her on the phone, demanding payment for Internet services your business didn’t request. You refuse to pay, and the next thing you know, they're threatening to take you to court, or turn the bill over to a collection agency and ruin your credit.

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Claims for DanActive False and Deceptive, says FTC

In addition to allegations about Activia Yogurt, the FTC’s recent settlement with Dannon Corporation challenged health claims for DanActive, a probiotic dairy drink advertised to reduce the likelihood of getting colds or flu.

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FTC challenges Dannon’s claims for Activia Yogurt and DanActive

If you or your clients make health claims in advertising, the FTC’s settlement with Dannon Corporation for allegedly false and deceptive representations about Activia Yogurt and DanActive is a must-read.  The FTC worked closely with 39 state Attorneys General, who announced a simultaneous $21 million settlement with the company.

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Data Security: Copi-er That!

If your company keeps sensitive data like Social Security numbers, credit reports, account numbers, health records, or business secrets, you’ve probably instituted safeguards to protect that information, whether it’s stored in computers or on paper. That’s great.  But it’s time to take those safeguards a step further.

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Even Superheroes Need Substantiation

As part of its ongoing probe of questionable claims involving kids’ health, the FTC announced a $2.1 million settlement with major dietary supplement marketers for allegedly deceptive claims that their products promote healthy brain and eye development in children.

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ID-ylls of the Ring: FTC rethinks TSR’s Caller ID provisions

When the FTC amended the Telemarketing Sales Rule in 2003, it required telemarketers to transmit Caller ID information.  That policy had three benefits.  It promoted privacy by allowing people to screen out unwanted telemarketing calls.  It increased industry accountability by making it harder for companies to remain anonymous.  And it helped law enforcement by making it easier to identify fraudsters and companies who violated the Do Not Call Registry.

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It's in the cards

The hot present this holiday season is plastic: gift cards from popular online and brick-and-mortar retailers. But this year’s cards come wrapped in important new protections for people who buy and use them.

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FTC’s EchoMetrix settlement: EULA-ppreciate this guidance on privacy disclosures

Parents are understandably concerned about keeping their kids safe online.  That’s why many moms and dads paid $3.99 a month for Sentry Parental Controls, software sold by EchoMetrix, Inc.  Once Sentry is installed on a computer, buyers can log into their online account to monitor activity on that computer, including web history, online chats, and password-protected IMs.

So far, so good.  But that wasn’t the only product marketed by EchoMetrix.

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FTC Staff Issues Privacy Report

The FTC staff released a report today that proposes a new framework for consumer privacy: Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Business and Policymakers.

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