Attorney advertising subject to Colorado ad laws

The Colorado Supreme Court has held that lawyer advertising is subject to the Colorado Consumer Protection Act’s false and deceptive advertising provisions. The law also provides for triple damages and attorney fees. So at least we — as in the Bar — have that going for us.

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January 11, 2006 at 7:00 am 1 comment

Advertising law seminar in NYC on 1/30 and 1/31

Law Seminars International is producing a conference called “New Technologies and New Media in Advertising Law” on January 30 and 31 in New York City.  The conference will cover privacy and data security, search engine marketing, wireless marketing, the CAN-SPAM Act and trademark and copyright law.  More information is available from LSI’s website.

January 11, 2006 at 6:55 am Leave a comment

Aftermarket program bulletins are not advertising

The 43(B)log has an excellent post on Nissan’s aftermarket leather program (“ALP”), which was the subject of a lawsuit that claimed that Nissan violated the Lanham Act’s false advertising provisions when it issued bulletins that removed certain seat covers from the ALP. The seat covers were part of “advanced” airbag systems that used seat sensors that took the weight of passengers into account to avoid injuring children. The bulletins were only sent to dealers, and, according to the court in Katzkin Leather, Inc. v. Nissan North America, Inc., those bulletins did not constitute advertising under the Lanham Act . Read Prof. Tushnet’s posts for a better breakdown.
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January 9, 2006 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

Chip maker faces fake fat lawsuit after rebranding

Remember the WOW! chips that contained olestra, otherwise known as the “fake fat”? Last year, Frito-Lay rebranded the fat-free chips under its LITE line. Now a consumer group is threatening to file a lawsuit under a consumer-friendly deceptive-advertising law in Massachusetts unless the company puts a warning label on snacks with the fat substitute. The lawsuit would be filed on behalf of 30-year-old Lori Perlow, a 30-year-old woman claiming that she got stomach cramps and had to quickly use the bathroom after eating the Ruffles Lite. The group believes that Frito-Lay rebranded snacks containing olestra to trick consumers into thinking the snacks did not contain olestra. Frito-Lay claims that it changed the name because Light “seemed to convey the product’s benefits much more than ‘Wow!’ did.” According to Frito-Lay spokeswoman Aurora Gonzalez,
“It’s an extremely safe product, well-tested… If the law says we don’t have to have (a label), we don’t see the need for it either.”

See David Koenig, Consumer group threatens Frito-Lay with lawsuit over fake fat, Boston Globe (Jan. 4, 2006).

See also Woman May Sue Frito Lay After Getting Stomach Ache, ChannelOklahoma.com

January 7, 2006 at 7:00 am 1 comment

TTABlog continues to be a cite for sore eyes

For you trademark prosecution gurus, the TTABlog has its authoritative wrap-up on the whopping 18 citable decisions by the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board in 2005. As always, the TTABlog is an excellent read for those who register marks in the U.S.

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January 6, 2006 at 8:00 pm Leave a comment

P&G has bones with GSK’s “misleading” Boniva ads

BonivaAccording to a BrandWeek report, Procter & Gamble and Sanofi-Aventis have sued Roche Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline for false and misleading advertising of the osteoporosis drug Boniva. P&G and Sanofi have a competing drug called Actonel. P&G claims that Boniva advertising incorrectly claims that it reduces the risk of non-spine fractures at rates comparable to other treatments, but the label and clinical data does not support that claim. The suit was filed in the Southern District of New York.

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January 6, 2006 at 7:00 am 1 comment

Pfizer rings in new DTC controversy with Viagra ads

An AIDS advocacy group has criticized Pfizer for DTC ads that the group claims promote recreational use of Viagra. The ad in question shows a middle-aged man and text that says, “What are you doing on New Year’s Eve?” and “Fact: Viagra can help guys with all degrees of erectile dysfunction — from mild to severe.”Michael Weinstein of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation slammed what he thinks is irresponsible advertising:

Not only does sending this reckless message contribute to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, but it is also part of a pattern of irresponsible direct-to-consumer advertising by the drug industry. . . Ads for HIV/AIDS drugs often portray living with HIV to be as simple as popping a pill and then it’s a day at the beach, and there is another side to the story that is simply not being told by the drug industry. We urge Pfizer to not only pull these reckless ads that encourage the recreational use of Viagra, but to make a pledge to curb all irresponsible direct-to-consumer advertising — a practice that is contributing to the spread of disease and placing profit above people’s health.

More on this issue can be found in this article on AdAge.com.

January 5, 2006 at 7:00 am 2 comments

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