Archive for March, 2005

Blockbuster settles some “No Late Fees” claims

AdAge.com reports that Blockbuster has settled suits from 47 state attorneys general in disputes that challenged the company’s “No Late Fees” campaign on false advertising grounds. Blockbuster will pay $630,000 and will reimburse consumers who were charged “restocking fees.” The case brought by New Jersey’s Attorney General, which was the first suit filed, is still pending. More can be found here (registration required). Background can be found in this Advertising Law Blog post here.

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March 30, 2005 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

FTC gets over 22,000 complaints for auto ads

AdAge.com, the online arm of Advertising Age, reports that the Federal Trade Commission has received over 22,000 complaints about auto manufacturers’ claims [registration required] that today’s cars are “virtually emission free.” The Union of Concerned Scientists (“UCD”) is leading the charge by encouraging consumers to file false advertising complaints against the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (“AAM”). The AAM, an industry lobbying group, has been airing the “virtually emission free” ads on Washington, D.C. area radio stations and has placed similar ads in D.C. print publications. The AAM claims that the claims are true and based on U.S. Government data. The AAM print ads and the UCD’s response ads can be found here. The AAM’s Flash presentation on cleaner automobiles can be found here.

March 24, 2005 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

French invade U.S. courts in the Great Google War

Updating this previous post on one of the Google Adsense lawsuits in France, a French appeals court has affirmed a lower courts decision in a similar case. An English translation of the decision can be found here. As French companies pile on, Google now faces a lawsuit from Agence France-Presse (“AFP”) alleging copyright infringement of AFP’s news and photo content. This time the pesky French have invaded our own courts (the case was filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.), which indicates a shocking turn of legal jingoism that is sure to inspire George W. to rise to Google’s defense. Reports, however, indicate that Google may short circuit this dispute by removing the disputed content.

March 22, 2005 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

FCC official shocked at the sight of bare shoulders

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has ruled that the Monday Night Football intro skit that showed “Desperate Housewives” star Nicollette Sheridan “disrobing” was not indecent. In a 5-0 ruling, the Commission dismissed the complaints against ABC, the network that broadcasts Monday Night Football. Sheridan did not appear nude in the skit, but instead was seen unwrapping a towel from behind which was later thrown to Eagles wideout Terrell Owens while Sheridan was offscreen. Commissioner Michael Copps, however, criticized the network for having the gall to show a women’s bare shoulders at the early hour of 9 p.m., when responsible parents certainly have their children in front of the television.

March 14, 2005 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

Chairman Powell saves Private Ryan

As a follow-up on this previous post on the complaint lodged with the FCC about the “indecent” Saving Private Ryan, it’s official. The FCC has ruled that the movie is not indecent. I guess that means its decent. In fact, Chairman Powell said the film was instead “gritty.” A similar complaint against NBC’s Will & Grace was also rejected… but I’ll spare you from Powell’s description of that “happy” sitcom (“not that there’s anything wrong with that”).

March 2, 2005 at 6:00 pm 1 comment


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