Annie H. Lee

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For the first time since the Consumer Review Fairness Act (CRFA) went into effect in March of 2017, the FTC has brought three separate actions enforcing the CRFA to halt the use of “gag clauses” – i.e., contract provisions that prohibit consumers from writing or posting negative reviews. The CRFA bans these types of non-disparagement clauses in consumer form contracts when the clauses are imposed on individuals without giving them a meaningful opportunity to negotiate.…
What if the influencer you had been following on Instagram—an influencer whose style choices you admired, and who supported social causes that you believed in—turned out to be…a robot? This is what happened to followers of Lil Miquela, a 19-year old model from California who launched an Instagram account in 2016.  For the past two years, she’s been posting photos of herself in designer clothing, eating at trendy restaurants, and pitching beauty products.  Along the…
FTC Deputy Director Daniel Kaufman launched into his keynote address at this year’s BAA marketing law conference by comparing the modern digital marketplace to the most talked about TV series as of late: The Walking Dead.  He pointed out that the show has spawned active social media engagement and user generated content (#GlennIsAlive…or is he?), produced several apps, and at times blurred the line between content and advertisement by featuring sponsored products in…
The days of on-air fast-talking contest announcements are coming to an end.  Last Thursday, the FCC adopted revised rules that allow broadcasters to disclose contest rules on an Internet website, as opposed to reading them over the air.  Prior to this rule change, under the FCC’s “Contest Rule” (47 C.F.R. Section 73.1216), broadcasters that advertised a contest on-air were required to fully disclose the “material terms” of the contest and then conduct the contest substantially…
In a few short months, revised FCC rules for calling or texting cell phones will take effect, creating new potential pitfalls for telemarketers that call or text cell phones.  For marketers, the revised rules command heightened attention, as the Center for Disease Control in 2012 estimated that over half of Americans either do not have a landline or receive all or almost all of their calls on a cell phone.  Because these specific requirements create…
Late last month, a federal judge in California ruled that a consumer had consented to receive text messages when he voluntarily gave his cellphone number to PayPal. The plaintiff had agreed to PayPal’s user agreement when he became a PayPal customer in 2002. At that time, the user agreement did not have any reference to phone calls placed by PayPal to its customers; however, it did state that the agreement was subject to change without…
Underage sexting and texting while driving aren’t the only text-related legal battles that are being fought out there. Text messaging by advertisers to consumers is also highly regulated. Companies should only send text messages to those consumers who have given their prior express consent to such text messages (pursuant to a recent FCC order such consent must be in writing beginning next February.)  You should also check to make sure that consumers’ telephone numbers aren’t registered on…