Consumer Protection in Retail: Weekly Roundup
Time 3 Minute Read

This past week, several consumer actions made headlines:

VW and the FTC Agree in Principle on Settlement to Compensate Consumers

FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez issued the following statement regarding the announcement of nearly completed agreements resolving the EPA’s Clean Air Act claims and consumer injury claims against Volkswagen:

"We are pleased to be moving forward on an agreement in principle to compensate consumers who purchased affected Volkswagen and Audi 3.0 liter vehicles and look forward to resolving the final details. The FTC, with its partners, secured $10 billion in compensation for the vast majority of consumers harmed by Volkswagen’s deceptive advertising earlier this year, and today’s agreement will provide redress for a smaller but no less important group of consumers who were not part of the original settlement."

Digital Advertiser Settles FTC Charges That It Deceptively Tracked Consumers

Turn, Inc., a company that helps advertisers target digital ads to consumers, settled charges brought by the FTC that it deceptively tracked consumers online and on their mobile devices even after consumers took steps to opt out of tracking. The FTC alleged that Turn’s claims in its privacy policy did not reflect the company’s actual tracking practices. The agreement between Turn and the FTC requires Turn to cease misrepresenting to its users the ability to limit or opt out of tracking. It also requires Turn to implement an effective opt-out mechanism.

Industry Self-Regulation

Colgate-Palmolive to Cease Comparative Dishwashing Claims

Colgate-Palmolive agreed to modify or discontinue using certain comparison claims after the NAD found that Colgate-Palmolive’s substantiation for its claims was insufficient. The ads at issue contained claims that Ultra Palmolive Fusion Clean dishwashing liquid cleaned three times more than the Procter & Gamble Company’s Dawn non-concentrated dishwashing liquid. Although Colgate-Palmolive had conducted its own testing to substantiate its "three times more" claim, the NAD found that Colgate-Palmolive’s research was inadequate.

The Second Circuit Revives State Consumer Protection Claims against GameStop

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that state consumer protection law claims against GameStop, which alleged that it deceived customers by offering a $20 coupon in exchange for enrolling in a $12-a-month loyalty program, were improperly dismissed when related federal fraud claims were dismissed. The court ruled that GameStop could still be liable under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act for unfair and deceptive practices even though the claims against it did not meet the pleading requirements for related federal claims. As such, the court of appeals found that the state consumer protection law claims should continue even though the federal claims were dismissed.

  • Partner

    A leader in the advertising bar with decades of experience both working at and practicing before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Phyllis brings a unique advertising and children’s privacy vantage point to our clients ...


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