Advertising and Promotion: FDA Is Not the Only Cop on the Beat

In the July/August 2010 edition of FDLI Update, HP&M attorneys John R. Fleder and Cassandra A. Soltis authored an article, titled “Advertising and Promotion: FDA Is Not the Only Cop on the Beat.” The article focuses on the various non-FDA groups that police alleged false or misleading claims in advertising and promotion: (1) the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), which has the statutory authority to commence court and administrative actions against companies and persons that the FTC believes have engaged in deceptive practices; (2) state Attorneys General, which regulate advertisements and promotional materials; (3) the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau, which is not a governmental body and has no legal authority to order someone to cease particular advertising, but is nevertheless an important policing body; and (4) companies that use the Lanham Act to bring an action in federal court against a competitor which is alleged to have disseminated false or misleading advertisements. “Collectively, these enforcement tools have resulted in many companies paying millions of dollars in monetary judgments,” say the authors.