Government Regulation of Advertising and Consumer Products

Consumer spending is the backbone of the nation’s economy. While the market is vast, so too is the regulatory structure that governs the manufacture, distribution, and sale of consumer products. In a time of rapidly evolving technology and vigorous competition for consumer dollars, businesses face complex federal, state and local laws and regulations. The lawyers of Troutman Sanders’ consumer products practice help clients ensure compliance with these requirements and, when disputes arise with customers, regulators or law-enforcement agencies, resolve conflicts quickly and effectively.

Our lawyers bring decades of experience advising retailers, manufacturers and distributors of consumer products. We bring a team-oriented approach to our clients’ concerns, always keeping in mind the philosophy that an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. We also lecture frequently on current trends in the law affecting the consumer products sector.

We have experience in virtually every area of consumer products regulation and litigation.

Advertising and Selling Practices Regulation by the Federal Trade Commission and State Attorneys General

We regularly advise retailers, manufacturers and distributors of consumer products on the full range of federal, state and local laws regulating advertising and promotional endeavors, including the following:

  • Claim substantiation
  • Native advertising
  • Endorsements and testimonials
  • Comparative advertising
  • Sale price advertising
  • Sweepstakes and contests
  • Charitable sales promotions
  • Green marketing
  • Gift cards and escheat
  • Customer loyalty programs
  • Coupons and rebates

We have advised clients on advertising campaigns for everything from hair dryers to footwear, from fur coats to tractors. We provide guidance on social media, e-marketing, telemarketing, in-home sales, brick and mortar sales, credit sales, and warranties. Correct and accurate labeling is another important concern, and we help businesses better understand the requirements for labeling of apparel, appliances, home furnishings, toys, food and other products.

At the agency and law-enforcement level, we represent businesses and individuals facing unfair and deceptive trade practices investigations conducted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), State Attorneys General across the nation, and the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.

We stay on top of this area of the law and have authored numerous Advertising Law Advisories to highlight important cases related to advertising.

Consumer Product Safety Regulation

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has its eyes on virtually every type of consumer product on the market. In this environment, we counsel companies on compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), and myriad product-specific CPSC regulations, such as those concerning fabric flammability and lead in children’s products. We also advise companies on state consumer product safety laws.

To keep our clients informed, we provide updates on important developments under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

Product Recalls

For companies facing recalls, we provide representation before the CPSC and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Recent client engagements have included actual or threatened recalls of the following:

  • Children’s clothing, sleepwear, jewelry, toys, playground equipment, sports equipment, strollers and other durable infant and toddler products
  • Adult clothing and sleepwear
  • Furniture
  • Luggage
  • Sporting goods
  • Electronics and household appliances
  • Fuel filters

California Proposition 65 Cases

Our lawyers have many years of experience handling California Proposition 65 cases and assisting businesses in navigating their way through the law’s warning requirements. The products involved in these matters have included clothing and accessories, jewelry, art supplies, and kitchen appliances. We have a track record of resolving Proposition 65 cases efficiently and effectively and also give Continuing Legal Education presentations on Proposition 65.

Representative Experience