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Note:This website is where you can find advertising law information based on archived news briefs from past issues of Advertising Compliance Service. These archived advertising law-related news briefs were published in Advertising Compliance Service in April 2004.





Advertising Disclosures
Car Ads
Car Loans
Children's Ads
Comparative Ads
Consumer Lease
Deceptive Pricing
Diet Programs
Diet Supplements
E-Mail Ads
Eye Care
Eye Surgery
Food Ads
Health Claims
Hearing Aids
Home Financing
Indoor Tanning
Internet Ads
Internet Mktng.
Infertility Svcs.
Made in USA #1
Made in USA #2
Made in USA #3
Made in USA #4
MLM #1
MLM #2
Precious Metals
Retail Electricity
Timeshare Tips
Use of Word "Free"
Vacation Plans
Varicose Veins
Yellow Pages

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The National Advertising Review Council (NARC) launched "The ERA Self-Regulatory Program." NARC says the new program was created "to improve industry business practices and increase consumer confidence, while also allowing direct response professionals a forum to review claims independently of federal regulation."

NARC's role in the ERA program will be to look at major claims within a promotion and assess the adequacy of the supporting scientific evidence. "NARC is determined to review programs as quickly as possible to minimize damage to the consumer, resulting from unsupported advertising claims." So said Jim Guthrie, President & CEO of NARC and administrator of the program.

The ERA Self-Regulatory Program will involve a monitoring process and will also allow advocacy and consumer groups, direct response marketers and other interested parties, the chance to refer suspect ads in an effort to remove offenders from the airwaves. The electronic direct response industry, which consists of long form (infomercial) productions, short form commercials, live home shopping channels, Internet marketing and radio advertising, generated an estimated $256 billion in revenues in 2003 alone.

FTC has been supportive of The ERA Self-Regulatory Program. FTC Chairman Timothy Muris said, "I am very encouraged by the voluntary self-regulatory efforts of the ERA and direct response industry as a whole." He added that, "The ERA Self-Regulatory Program can be an important step forward for consumers and business alike." Chairman Muris has previously noted that NARC's advertising industry self-regulation program is "a model of self-regulation."

(Source: NARC News Release, April 12, 2004.)


After reviewing a petition submitted to FTC, the agency voted to deny the request for a rulemaking proceeding concerning FTC's procedures in nonpublic investigations of health-related advertising. The First Amendment Health Freedom Association, a coalition of manufacturers and consumers of dietary supplements, submitted the petition to FTC. that petition adsked FTC to issue rules requiring the FTC staff, when investigating health-related advertising, to:

(1) evaluate the scientific evidence before initiating the investigation;

(2) identify the specific advertising content that the staff considers to be misleading and the basis for that belief in the initial access letter or civil investigative demand (CID);

(3) identify, at the earliest possible point in the investigation, the specific grounds for the staff's belief that the substantiation is inadequate; and

(4) issue warning letters to advertisers as a primary enforcement mechanism, rather than initiating formal investigations by access letter or CID.

FTC's vote to deny the petition was 5-0.

(FTC Release, April 20, 2004; Procedures for Investigating Health-Related Claims in Food, Drug, and Dietary Supplement Advertising, FTC File No. P034515.)
















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