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July 2nd, 2012
FTC Releases Study to Guide Advertisers Away from “Up To” Claims
The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") announced the results of a study it commissioned, which indicates that many consumers understand "up to" claims as promising maximum results. The FTC believes the study will help guide advertisers to avoid the use of misleading "up to" claims.
In announcing the results of the study, the FTC stated that the study "reinforces the FTC's view that advertisers using these claims should be able to substantiate that consumers are likely to achieve the maximum results promised under normal circumstances." The FTC's position seems to be a departure from the standard set forth by many states and in the Better Business Bureau’s Code of Advertising, that advertisers must support "up to" claims with evidence that the maximum comprises "a significant percentage, typically 10%." The guidance announced by the FTC - that advertisers should be able to substantiate that "consumers are likely to achieve the maximum results" - appears to be more stringent than the commonly used “significant percentage” standard. This announcement may have widespread consequences for those making “up to” claims, at least with respect to savings claims.
The FTC's study was conducted in conjunction with investigations of five companies that settled allegations in February that they made false claims about how much money consumers could save on their heating and cooling bills by having certain windows installed.
If you have any questions about the FTC's study or "up to" claims generally, please contact Terri Seligman at (212) 826 5580 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Jeffrey A. Greenbaum at (212) 826 5525 or email@example.com, or any other member of the Frankfurt Kurnit Advertising Group.
Other Advertising Law Alerts
FTC Issues a $2 Million Reminder to Ad Agencies
The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") and the State of Maine have announced a $2 million dollar settlement with ad agency Marketing Architects, Inc. ("MAI") for deceptive weight-loss claims.
February 12 2018
Introducing the Frankfurt Kurnit Advertising Law Blog
January 27 2018
FTC Research Indicates Disclosures Help Consumers Recognize Ads
The FTC has long stated that consumers should be able to recognize an ad as an ad. And if disclosures are necessary to ensure that consumers will recognize that an ad is an ad, then those disclosures must be made in a way that ensures that consumers can understand them.
January 5 2018