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The Los Angeles Clippers are in the news again, this time for an ill-advised promotional text message marketing campaign. Fans filed a class action suit against the pro basketball team in February, 2013, after the team sent them text messages without the fans’ express written consent to receive them, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The case was brought in the Central District of California and captioned Friedman v. LAC Basketball Club, Inc., 2:13-cv-00818-CBM-AN. In the complaint, it was alleged that while attending a Clippers game, plaintiffs learned they could send messages directly to the scoreboard from their phone by texting a designated number. The announcement alerting them of this fact, however, did not disclose that the Clippers would store the numbers Keep reading . . .
Win for FTC Equals Win for Marketers: The Positive Implications of FTC v. BurnLounge for Direct Sellers
In FTC v. BurnLounge—after providing a crash course on pyramid schemes and how to properly distinguish a pyramid from a legit multi-level marketing (MLM) operation—the Ninth Circuit upheld the district court’s finding that BurnLounge’s business constituted an illegal pyramid scheme in violation of Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act. In doing so, however, the court was careful to make clear that internal sales (i.e. sales of products to recruits) are properly classified as sales to “ultimate users” and, thus, do not by themselves constitute a pyramid scheme. This aspect of the court’s decision is a big victory for direct sellers, who rely on and are motivated by sales to downstream recruits but whose primary motivation is for the sales of products versus merely signing Keep reading . . .
The sunny states of California and Florida saw a burst of activity involving class action suits for “all natural” food labeling claims this past Friday, giving rise to a particularly cheesy headline about plaintiffs preferring that their tans be “all natural” as well. In California, a federal judge granted partial class certification to consumers accusing Dole Packaged Foods LLC of falsely labeling fruit products as “all natural” when they actually contain the allegedly artificial ingredients citric and ascorbic acid. Dole argued against class certification claiming the class was not ascertainable because the materiality of the alleged misrepresentations varied among consumers. The court rejected Dole’s argument, however, finding that since the regulations at issue ban labels Keep reading . . .