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Major Retailers Sued for Point of Sale Devices Inaccessible to the Blind

What Made News? Major retailers from Apple to Lucky Brand to J. Crew are being sued for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide point of sale (POS) devices that are accessible to the blind.

Urban Outfitters Faces Another Lawsuit for Collecting Customer ZIP Codes

What Made News? Urban Outfitters is facing yet another putative class action lawsuit over its practice of collecting customers’ ZIP codes in connection with credit card purchases at its retail locations. Last June, Urban Outfitters faced a similar suit regarding this practice in its Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie stores. This time, Free People, an Urban Outfitters subsidiary, is the subject of the suit.

FTC Warns Cole Haan Over Pinterest Contest

What Made News? In a recent letter, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleged that a promotional contest on Pinterest violated Section 5 of the FTC Act. Although the FTC did not take any direct enforcement action against Cole Haan, the letter forced Cole Haan to discontinue the contest and is one of the first instances in which the FTC has offered an opinion about what it takes to keep social media contests and promotions on the right side of federal advertising laws.

Arent Fox Partner Anthony Lupo Speaks in Panel Discussion at 2014 Legal and Regulatory Conference

On April 9, 2014, Anthony V. Lupo will participate in a panel discussion about advertising and updates in the FTC at the 2014 Legal and Regulatory Conference. The panel, titled “Don Draper in the Digital Age: How Technology is Changing the Law of Advertising,” will cover topics such as native advertising, social media, the internet of things and consumer consent, and behavioral advertising.

Do Clothing Manufacturers Need to Rethink Marketing Tactics for Outlets?

What Happened? Four members of Congress recently asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to launch a federal investigation into the marketing practices conducted by outlet stores. In their letter, US Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) called on the FTC to look into claims that merchants may be selling lower quality items produced specifically for outlet stores without properly informing consumers.

California State Court Decision Could Spell Trouble for Some Online Retailers

A recent state court decision in California could prove a major headache for online retailers that engage in comparative price advertising. Although the decision — People of the State of California v. Overstock.com — is not binding precedent and its future on appeal is far from clear, the decision suggests that retailers may be forced to adopt more rigorous internal standards when engaging in comparative price advertising.

Yes Means No Agreement to Arbitrate: Lack of Essential Elements of a Contract in Online Transactions

In a recent decision from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Lee v. Intelius Inc., 9th Cir., No. 11-35810, 12/16/13, the Court held that an online consumer could not be compelled to arbitrate a class action because the essential elements of a contract were not present.

Impending Launch of .CLOTHING and Other Fashion-Related gTLDs: Is Your Company Prepared?

As you may have heard, we are on the verge of a vast expansion of the Internet. Currently, there are only about two dozen generic top-level domains (“gTLDs”), such as .com, .net, and .info. However, there will soon be more than 1,000 new gTLDs, many of which are relevant to companies in the fashion and luxury goods industries. For example, third parties have applied for the right to operate .clothing and .fashion as new gTLDs.

Fake But Loving It: Concern Growing Over False Reviews on Yelp

Companies are advised to thoroughly investigate the companies they hire to manage their online reputations and reviews to ensure that only truthful and accurate reviews and comments from actual consumers are posted online. A company that does not thoroughly investigate the companies they use could find themselves in violation of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (the 'Guides'). The Guides set forth the principles that the FTC uses when evaluating testimonials and endorsements.