Advertising law news briefs.
Advertising law news briefs.
Your News Your Way: Every Day!


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 March 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

Our Related Websites

Advertising Compliance Service

Advertising Substantiation

Ad Substantiation

Green Advertising Law

Political Advertising Law


FTC is expanding its consumer complaint handling system to categorize and track complaints about media violence, including complaints about the advertising, marketing, and sale of violent movies, electronic games (including video games), and music. The expanded complaint system is in response to Congressional directives.

The expanded complaint handling system includes a new subject area--media violence--and several new complaint categories designed to track complaints regarding media violence, including complaints about--

ads for violent entertainment products airing or appearing in media inappropriate for children;

ads containing an incorrect rating for violent content, or no rating at all;

cross-marketing of violent entertainment products to children.

(FTC Release, FTC File No. P994511, March 17, 2004.)


FTC is seeking public comment on regulations regarding unsolicited commercial e-mail--spam. The CAN-SPAM Act took effect January 1, 2004. It requires that FTC issue regulations "defining the relevant criteria to facilitate the determination of the primary purpose of an electronic mail message." Since the CAN-SPAM Act applies almost exclusively to "commercial electronic mail messages," defining the criteria used to determine the "primary purpose" of an e-mail will clarify how to determine whether the Act applies to certain electronic messages.

If you'd like to comment on these regs, you may file your comments electronically via the federal government's centralized rulemaking Web site, FTC will post a "web form" at the site to make it easier for you to address the various issues in the Federal Register notice.

(FTC Release, FTC File No. R411008, March 10, 2004.)


Howard Beales, Director of FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, at the 2004 Antitrust and Consumer Protection Symposium sponsored by the George Mason University Law Review, examined FTC's experience in the 1970's with a proposed ban on advertising to children and the lessons to be learned from it.

In 1978, the FTC initiated a rulemaking known as "kidvid" to consider a ban on advertising to children too young to understand the selling purpose of advertising, as well as a ban on TV ads to kids 12 and under for the foods most likely to cause tooth decay. FTC ultimately terminated the rulemaking due to the legal and practical limitations of the proposed restrictions, Beales noted.

Beales' remarks emphasized that FTC's experience in the kidvid rulemaking was that bans on advertising foods to children raise significant constitutional issues, as well as practical implementation problems, while doing little to advance the goal of reducing childhood tooth decay. Government should focus on other more-effective efforts to reduce obesity, such as promoting competition for more healthy food products among food manufacturers, according to Beales.

(Remarks of Howard Beales, Director of FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, at the 2004 Antitrust and Consumer Protection Symposium sponsored by the George Mason University Law Review, March 12, 2004.)


FTC a business with deceiving Spanish-speaking consumers who responded to its offer of a complete computer system for three payments of $199 without a social security number or credit check. FTC charged that despite defendants' claims, they didn't deliver the entire computer at the time the first payment was made. Instead, consumers opened their boxes and allegedly found only keyboards, speakers, and other peripherals that would be useless without the computer itself. Only then, FTC charged, did they learn that they would not receive the full computer until all the payments had been made. At that point, according to the FTC, some consumers decided that they had been scammed and just gave up. Others made the final two payments, which with shipping and handling totaled more than $700, and ended up with junk computers that were salvaged or damaged computers that did not work. A federal district court issued a temporary restraining order halting defendants' business practices and freezing their assets.

According to FTC's complaint, defendants Unicyber Technology, Inc., Unicyber Gilboard, Inc., and Chul K. Han advertised their computer systems via Spanish-language television ads, claiming that they offered a payment plan that did not require a social security number or credit check. FTC charged that when consumers called a toll-free number to order the system, defendants' sales representatives repeated the claims made in the ads but informed consumers that the installment payment amount was not $199, but instead was $245, due to "shipping and handling" costs. In some cases, defendants' sales representatives attempted to "upsell" consumers by pitching additional peripherals, such as CD burners, or component upgrades, such as larger monitors.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has "reason to believe" that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendant has actually violated the law. The case will be decided by the court.

(Unicyber Technology, Inc., et al., FTC File No. 032 3186, Civ. No. 04-1569 LGB (MANx), March 18, 2004.)


FTC accepted two separate settlements with the operators of an allegedly bogus business opportunity venture. In separate settlements, one settlement with Jesse Alper and the other settlement with Inspired Ventures, Inc., Victor Alper, I.V.I. Management Corporation, and Source Systems, Inc., defendants are banned from marketing business ventures and from telemarketing. FTC alleged that the defendants, engaged in deceptive business practices in the sale of their vending machines. I.V.I. Management managed the advertising for the scheme, and Source Systems supplied the bulk candy for the vending machines.

FTC's complaint against the defendants was filed in June 2002, as part of "Operation Busted Opportunity"--a coordinated attack on business opportunities and work-at-home fraud by FTC, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and 17 state law enforcement agencies.

According to the complaint, the defendants advertised their candy vending machines, called "Sweet Tooth Sam, the Money Making Man," on the Internet, in newspaper ads, and by telephone. The ads contained statements that prospective buyers would receive "500% Profits" or "$4000 per month."

FTC alleged that defendants' earnings claims were false and that consumers didn't achieve the promised profits, but instead lost thousands of dollars.

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

(Inspired Ventures, Inc., et al., FTC Matter No. X020067, Civil Action No. 02-CV-21760, March 3, 2004.)
















Main Archived News Index:

1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 |
2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003

Archived 2003 News:

January | February | March | April | May | June July | August | September | October | November | December



Advertising Compliance Service...

Advertising Compliance Service.



JLCom Publishing Co., L.L.C. is the publisher of Advertising Compliance Service™. For over 34 years (1981-2015),Advertising Compliance Service™ was the authoritative - and comprehensive - source of information for advertising law practitioners, advertisers and advertising agencies -- and their attorneys. One of the 27 advertising law-related topics that were regularly covered by this newsletter/reference service was found in Tab #1, the Bulletin section, and is entitled, "Brief News of Note."

JLCom Publishing Co., LLC, publisher of Advertising Compliance Service, a newsletter / reference service for advertising law attorneys, including in-house counsel and outside counsel, to help them make sure their advertiser clients comply with laws involving false, unfair and deceptive acts.

© Copyright 2004-2014 JLCom Publishing Co., L.L.C. All rights reserved.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Materials included in this Web Site are intended for general information purposes only and are not intended to provide - and do not constitute - legal or other advice. Persons who need legal or other services should contact a duly licensed professional. The inclusion of links on this Website are to Websites that are maintained by third parties over whom JLCom Publishing Co., LLC has no control. Such links do not imply endorsement of the material that's contained therein. JLCom Publishing Co., LLC makes no claims, representations, or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness, or appropriateness of these Web Sites or the information these websites contain. Read this disclaimer and our privacy statement before using this site.