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September 7th, 2017
FTC Announces Reforms to Its Investigative Process
Recently, the FTC announced a set of internal reforms intended to improve the process by which the Commission investigates unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices. The reforms relate to the Civil Investigative Demands ("CID") that the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection issues to request information from investigation targets. In a press release, the FTC notes that the reforms are designed to streamline the CID process and improve transparency in FTC investigations, with the broader goal of furthering Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen's mission to reduce investigational burdens on companies under investigation.
As stated in a related FTC announcement, these reforms include:
- Providing plain language descriptions of the CID process and developing materials to help small businesses understand how to comply;
- Adding more detail about the scope and purpose of investigations to give companies a better understanding of the information the FTC seeks;
- Where appropriate, limiting the relevant time periods to minimize undue burden on companies;
- Where appropriate, shortening and simplifying the instructions for providing electronically stored data; and
- Where appropriate, increasing response times for CIDs (for example, often 21 days to 30 days for targets and 14 days to 21 days for third parties).
To keep companies in the loop about the status of investigations, the FTC also plans to continue its current practice of providing updates to investigation targets at least every six months after they comply with the CID.
So what does this mean for your company? Although it is too early to know the impact of these reforms, we are hopeful that going forward a company receiving a CID will be better informed about the nature of the investigation and better positioned to respond efficiently. Because the FTC introduced these changes as part of a broader effort to improve its processes and focus its resources, we anticipate that additional reforms may follow.
If you have any questions about FTC investigations or any other advertising and marketing law issues, please contact Jeff Greenbaum at (212) 826 5525 or email@example.com,Terri Seligman at (212) 826 5580 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Matthew Vittone at (212) 705 4876 or email@example.com, or any other member of the Frankfurt Kurnit Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations Group.
Other Advertising Law Alerts
FTC Updates Endorsement Guide FAQs and Settles First-Ever Action Against Individual “Influencers”
Recent developments demonstrate the FTC's continued interest in social media endorsements.
September 11 2017
End of an Era at NAD?
Last week Frankfurt Kurnit's Advertising Group proudly hosted "A Twenty-Year NAD Retrospective: The Levine Legacy," an ABA program honoring Andrea Levine, on the occasion of her retirement as Director of NAD. With NAD transitioning to new (as yet unnamed) leadership, we thought it would be a good time to review some of the best practices that guide NAD practitioners every day.
July 10 2017
FTC “Influencer” Letters Shed More Light on “Clear and Conspicuous”
The FTC staff recently sent out more than 90 letters reminding influencers and marketers that influencers should clearly and conspicuously disclose their relationship to brands when promoting or endorsing products through social media.
May 30 2017