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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 December 2003.





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In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. High Court has upheld new restrictions on political advertising in the weeks preceding an election. That same 5-4 majority upheld extremely broad restrictions on campaign donations. "We are under no illusion that [the measure] will be the last congressional statement on the matter." So said Justices John Paul Stevens and Sandra Day O'Connor in the majority opinion. "Money, like water, will always find an outlet. What problems will arise, and how Congress will respond, are concerns for another day."

"No doubt Congress was convinced by the many abuses of the current system that something in this area must be done," said dissenting Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. "Its response, however, was too blunt."

Also in dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia noted that--

"This is a sad day for the freedom of speech. Who could have imagined that the same Court which, within the past four years, has sternly disapproved of restrictions upon such inconsequential forms of expression as virtual child pornography, Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, 535 U. S. 234 (2002), tobacco advertising, Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. Reilly, 533 U. S. 525 (2001), dissemination of illegally intercepted communications, Bartnicki v. Vopper, 532 U. S. 514 (2001), and sexually explicit cable programming, United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc., 529 U. S. 803 (2000), would smile with favor upon a law that cuts to the heart of what the First Amendment is meant to protect: the right to criticize the government. For that is what the most offensive provisions of this legislation are all about."

Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas also dissented.

(McConnell, United States Senator, et al. v. Federal Election Commission et al., Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Supreme Court of the United States No. 02-1674, December 10, 2003.)


A federal district court permanently barred a California man from claiming for a fee he can register or pre-register consumers for FTC's National Do Not Call Registry or any other do not call list through his two websites. The stipulated final order also requires defendant Ken Chase to verify all refunds he has provided to the over 250 consumers who signed up through his service to be registered on the National Do Not Call Registry.

FTC filed its complaint against Chase, doing business as Free Do Not Call ( and National Do Not Call (, in early May 2003. According to the complaint, consumers who responded to Chase's claims and attempted to preregister for the FTC's Do Not Call Registry received an e-mail stating that their pre-registration had been received and that their information would be transmitted to the FTC as soon as the list became available.

The stipulated final order--

  • Bars Chase from representing that he can pre-register or otherwise arrange for consumers' phone numbers to be placed on FTC's Do Not Call Registry.
  • Bars Chase from misrepresenting that he can arrange for consumers to be placed on any telemarketer's do not call list.
  • Requires Chase to verify all refunds and to provide FTC with a list of the subscribers. [Chase already refunded nearly $3,800 to the 254 consumers who registered with his website.)

FTC's vote to approve the order was 5-0. It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division, on December 3, 2003, and entered by the court on December 8, 2003.

NOTE: This stipulated final judgment is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendants of a law violation. Stipulated judgments have the force of law when signed by the judge.

(FTC v. Ken Chase d/b/a Free Do Not Call, and d/b/a National Do Not Call List.US, (United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division), File No. 032-3134, X030043, Case No. C-03-2139-SBA Stipulated Final Order for Permanent Injunction and Other Equitable Relief, December 8, 2003.)
















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