False Advertising: Understanding the Legal Issues in 2016
Other than the complicated and technical intellectual property and antitrust commercial litigation, businesses are also vulnerable to the legal issue of false advertising. Over the years, there have been several lawsuits filed in federal and state courts which constitutes claims against deceptive, misleading and unfair advertisements. Claims are filed either by affected consumers or by the company's competitors.
In the Brown v. GNC Corp., the plaintiffs alleged that GNC and Rite Aid have falsely advertised the joint supplements they produced and sold, saying it promote joint health even though scientific studies have shown that the supplements are not as effective as it claim, violating consumer protection laws of various states. However, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that “a manufacturer cannot be liable for false advertising so long as at least one qualified expert opines that the representations made are truthful, even if the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence is to the contrary.” Therefore, an advertisement may not be deemed false as long as one viable expert substantiate the assertions in the advertisement.
Another false advertising suit to note is the Nowrouzi v. Maker’s Mark Distillery, Inc. ruled in the District Court of the Southern California. In Nowrouzi, the putative class plaintiffs were consumers who alleged that the Maker's Mark label statement "handmade" was deceptive. They claimed that the process used to produce Maker's mark bourbon allegedly involves little or no human involvement thereby negating the "handmade" label. The claims were however dismissed by the court, ruling that 'handmade' cannot reasonably interpreted as produced by hand or with no equipment used in manufacture.
Although both cases favored the manufacturers' arguments against the plaintiffs, companies should still be cautious of other related false advertising issues ready to bring them in court. Other than making sure that advertisements would catch the interest of consumers, advertisers should also consider making sure that these advertisements are truthful and compliant with the law.
In a two-hour LIVE Webcast, a panel of thought leaders and practitioners assembled by The Knowledge Group will discuss the significant and latest False Advertising Legal Issues in 2016. Speakers will also provide the audience with the best practices and practicalities in order to avoid possible legal challenges in advertising.
Key issues that will be covered in this course are:
- False Advertising – Fundamental Issues
- False Advertising under the Federal Trade Commission Act
- The Lanham Act on False Advertising Issues
- Overview of state false advertising laws
- Recent court decisions on False Advertising Suit
- Fourth Circuit rule in Brown v. GNC Corp.
- The 'Handmade' False Advertising Suit
- Nowrouzi v. Maker’s Mark Distillery, Inc.
- Salters v. Beam Suntory, Inc.
Kevin W. Brown, Partner
Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP
- Liability issues under legal frameworks
Jeffery A. Stec Ph.D., Vice President
Charles River Associates
- Damages and survey research
Who Should Attend:
- Advertising Attorneys
- Advertising/Marketing Officers
- Advertising and Marketing Professionals
- Marketing Executives
- Advertising Agencies
- Private Companies
- Other Related/Interested Professionals
As a Vice President of Charles River Associates, Dr. Stec has worked with clients in the areas of antitrust, finance, intellectual property, and survey research.
In the area of intellectual property, Dr. Stec has conducted economic and econometric analyses to determine the value of intellectual property as well as the amount of economic damages resulting from patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright infringement, false advertising, and counterfeit claims.
In the area of survey research, Dr. Stec has created numerous telephone, mail, and internet surveys for various clients as well as critically evaluated surveys and survey methodologies in both litigation and non-litigation consulting engagements.
Dr. Stec has a Ph.D and M.A. in economics from the Ohio State University. He also has B.A. degrees in Economics from the University of Illinois – Chicago and in Psychology and Philosophy from Cornell University.
As a Vice President of Charles River Associates, Dr. Stec has worked with clients in the areas of antitrust, finance, …
Kevin Brown is a trial lawyer with significant experience in complex business litigation, mediation and arbitration. Responsive and attentive to clients, Kevin’s experience includes a variety of contractual and real estate disputes, intellectual property matters (including copyright and trademark infringement, false advertising and trade secret misappropriation), employment law matters (including EEOC complaints, discrimination and retaliation litigation, Department of Labor investigations and wage and hour litigation) and general business torts.
Additionally, clients in the entertainment industry turn to Kevin for representation in a variety of contract and royalty disputes, copyright infringement, and right of privacy and publicity issues. Kevin also focuses his practice on assisting artists (including musicians, photographers, and visual artists) with their business and legal needs, including the protection and enforcement of their contract and intellectual property rights, risk management and claim avoidance.
Before joining Waller, Kevin was a partner with Taube Summers Harrison Taylor Meinzer Brown, LLP, a preeminent bankruptcy and civil litigation boutique firm in Austin, Tex. Kevin also practiced with Orrick and Pryor Cashman in New York City. Kevin earned his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law and his B.A., cum laude, from Northwestern University.
Kevin Brown is a trial lawyer with significant experience in complex business litigation, mediation and arbitration. Responsive and attentive to …
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About Charles River Associates
Charles River Associates is a leading global consulting firm that offers economic, financial, and strategy expertise to major law firms, corporations, accounting firms, and governments around the world.
With proven skills in complex cases and exceptional strength in analytics, CRA consultants have provided astute guidance to clients in thousands of successful engagements. CRA offers litigation and regulatory support, business strategy and planning, market and demand forecasting, policy analysis, and risk management consulting.
CRA’s success stems from the outstanding capabilities of its consultants, many of whom are recognized as experts in their respective fields; its close relationships with a select group of respected academic and industry experts; and from a corporate philosophy that stresses interdisciplinary collaboration and responsive service.
Headquartered in Boston, the firm has offices internationally.
About Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP
With more than 225 attorneys in Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., Birmingham, Ala., and Austin, Tex., Waller assists clients in complex transactional, regulatory and litigation matters. The firm has built a national reputation for its work in healthcare, financial services, retail and hospitality, and has extensive experience in manufacturing, real estate, technology and other industries. For more information, please visit www.wallerlaw.com