FTC Publishes Proposed Changes to Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced proposed changes to its Endorsement Guides, 16 CFR Part 255, which assist entities in conforming endorsements and testimonials in advertising to the requirements of Section 5 of the FTC Act. FTC continues to review the guides, first published in 1980, as part of its ongoing regulatory review process.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

INFORM Consumer Act Designed to Curb Counterfeits

In March 2021, the Senate reintroduced a revised version of a bill calling for online retailers to publish specific, verified information concerning high-volume third-party sellers of consumer products for their customers. The Integrity, Notification and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) for Consumers Act is directed toward putting an end to the online sale of stolen, counterfeit and unsafe consumer products.

In particular, online marketplaces that include high-volume third-party sellers would be required to authenticate vendors’ identities through essential identification and contact information in the hopes of preventing not only anonymous online sales of counterfeit goods, but also preventing organized retail crime rings from stealing from stores and reselling items online.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

Blockchain and NFTs Are Smart, but Can They Revolutionise the Fashion Industry?

Following the worldwide disruption in retail due to COVID-19, sales of luxury goods are expected to grow as much as 25% in 2022. Much of this growth has been driven by e-commerce, with online sales totalling 23% of all luxury sales in 2020. Meanwhile, consumer sustainability demands have driven growth in luxury resale or rental markets, now worth an estimated $36 billion, while brands have expanded their reach into the brave new digital territory of the metaverse – the overlapping digital spaces in which we increasingly work, play, and consume.

Yet luxury’s digital embrace has been hampered by a concomitant rise in counterfeit goods in the physical and digital worlds.  Is blockchain the solution?

To read the full text of this article co-authored by Duane Morris attorneys Cindy Yang and Kelly Bonner, please visit the Multilaw website.

News For Retailers: New California Law Requires Gender-Neutral Displays for Children’s Items

By Anjuli M. Cargain

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 1084, requiring retail department stores in California to maintain a gender-neutral section to display toys and certain childcare items beginning January 1, 2024. The new law applies to retail department stores with 500 or more employees within California that are physically located in California; it expressly excludes out-of-state stores.   Continue reading “News For Retailers: New California Law Requires Gender-Neutral Displays for Children’s Items”

Common U.S. Visa Categories for the Fashion and Design Industries

The fashion and design industries employ individuals in various fields of specialization, both in “back office” design and production and “front office” presentation and merchandising, marketing/advertising and sales. To read the full text of this overview of common nonimmigrant and immigrant visa categories allowing employers in these industries to hire and retain foreign talent, written by Duane Morris attorney Susanne Heubel, please visit the Duane Morris Immigration Law Blog.

New “.cfd” Domain Extension Tailored to Capture the Virtual Runway

By Michelle Hon Donovan and Anjuli M. Cargain

ShortDot, a domain name registry company, has announced the launch of .cfd (#ClothingFashionDesign), a specialized generic top-level domain (gTLD) for clothing brands, fashion designers, retailers, influencers, bloggers, consumers and lifestyle ecommerce stores. TLDs were developed in the 1980s and have unique purposes (e.g., .com, commercial; .org, nonprofit organizations; .net, network and internet-related organizations; .edu, educational; .gov, government entities). ShortDot’s webpage for registering the new domain states:

By providing a memorable, unique, and relevant web address, .CFD offers clothing, fashion, cosmetics, and footwear brands and designers a unique opportunity to strengthen their web presence.

Trademark owners can register .cfd domain names during the “sunrise period,” which ends April 12, 2021. Continue reading “New “.cfd” Domain Extension Tailored to Capture the Virtual Runway”

Vanilla is the New Flavor of Food Mislabeling Class Actions

By Ashley Barton

Consumer mislabeling class actions are no novelty in the California food industry, thanks to the state’s trio of consumer protection laws. Plaintiffs have their choice between California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (Cal. Civ. Code §§1750, et seq.), False Advertising Law (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§17500, et seq.), and Unfair Competition Law (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§17200, et seq.) when alleging that similarly situated buyers are misled by false advertising on a product’s label. The number of these suits specifically pertaining to flavoring of food and beverage products has risen dramatically in the last several years. Continue reading “Vanilla is the New Flavor of Food Mislabeling Class Actions”

Fashion Companies Targeted by Animal Rights Groups

Michelle C. Pardo, partner and team lead for the Fashion/Retail/Consumer Branded Products Industry Group, is quoted in a Fashion Law article about animal rights groups focusing litigation on certain fashion companies.

From the publication:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is threatening Louis Vuitton with a lawsuit over allegedly “false claims” that the company’s chairman and CEO made in an interview in September. According to a letter addressed to Louis Vuitton chairman and CEO Michael Burke on Monday, legal counsel for the animal rights group “demands” that Burke “immediately end [his] false representations that the animals used for Louis Vuitton products ‘are humanely farmed.’” Such comments amount to “fraud,” PETA Foundation deputy general counsel Jared Goodman asserts, citing a potential “consumer fraud action” against the luxury goods company as a result. […]

“In recent years, animal rights groups have focused their litigation efforts on companies that they perceive are popular with consumers and are delivering messages to consumers about positive animal welfare, environmental stewardship and the production of ethically-sourced products,” according to [Ms. Pardo]. “Animal rights groups view this type of labeling and marketing as a threat to their mission. If consumers feel good about the products that they buy, they are less likely to abandon meat, dairy and other products” – including exotic-skinned luxury handbags – “that are eschewed by many animal rights activists.”

To read the full article, visit the Fashion Law website.

How to Build Relationships with Influencers (Part 2)

Christiane Campbell, partner and team lead of Duane Morris’ Fashion, Retail and Consumer Branded Products Industry Group, and Victoria Danta, Duane Morris attorney, authored the Fashion Mannuscript article, “How to Build Relationships with Influencers (Part 2).”

They write:

The first part of this article discussed corporate social responsibility (CSR) and how brands and businesses should be mindful in forming partnerships.

In building an influencer partnership, being reactive, as well as proactive, is key. Respond to potential partners that reach out to you while proactively researching potential partners with whom you would like to form a relationship. Have concrete ideas about what you would want to gain from such a relationship before entering it.

If this sounds a bit like dating (or online dating), that is not surprising. A brand-influencer partnership is, quite literally, a relationship that requires investment. In considering how best to invest, also consider which influencers on which platforms are most likely to be able to reach your consumers and form authentic, credible connections with them.

Read the full article.

Diverse Design – Enabling Innovation and Profitability While Creating an Inclusive World

This post was co-authored by Heidi Lunasin and Yalda Hajavi, and it is the first installment of a multipart series.

Around the world, companies are leaving money on the table.  Lack of diversity and inclusion in “The Room Where It Happens,” whether the “IT” is a board-room, an innovation team, or a design team, repeatedly has been shown to affect the bottom line.  In the realm of innovation alone, experts have estimated that “the size of the economy could be roughly 3 to 4 percent higher if women and underrepresented minorities were included in the innovative process from beginning to end.”[1]  This goes beyond merely showing diversity and rather requires inclusion and input at all levels and areas of the innovation process.  A further benefit may be that diverse teams encourage design and innovation that is likely more inclusive of a greater portion of the population.

Continue reading “Diverse Design – Enabling Innovation and Profitability While Creating an Inclusive World”

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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