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DRMA Voice September 2012

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6 Sep, 2017


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Legal and Regulatory Voices of DRMA
‘Your Baby Can Read’ Case Is Instructive for Marketers 
On August 28, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its complaint against Your Baby Can LLC and the company’s “Your Baby Can Read!” (YBCR) program. The complaint alleged the company, its founder and the company’s former CEO made false and deceptive advertising claims by claiming the program could teach infants and toddlers to read, and that scientific studies proved those claims. In addition, the complaint charged company founder Robert Titzer, Ph.D, whom the company touted as an expert in infant research, with making deceptive expert endorsements in the company’s advertisements.
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Marketers of Ab Circle Pro Agree to Pay up to $25M in Redress 
The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recently announced settlement against the marketers of the Ab Circle Pro exercise device is the latest in a series of enforcement actions highlighting the increasingly aggressive posture the FTC is taking both in terms of claim substantiation and monetary redress for allegedly unsubstantiated product claims. Following on the heels of both the Reebok and Sketchers settlements, which required even larger monetary payments, this latest settlement contains some important lessons and insights for marketers regarding the current enforcement climate and FTC expectations.
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Court Orders DRTV Vets to Pay $480M, Bans Them for Life 
In May, I reported on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) victory against DRTV veterans Gary Hewitt and Doug Gravink and their company, Family Products LLC, in FTC v. John Beck Amazing Profits et al. Hewitt and Gravink sold real estate and Internet “wealth creation” products through national infomercials and telemarketing. The court said defendants violated the FTC Act and Telemarketing Sales Rule by making false earnings claims and failing adequately to disclose negative option terms for their continuity programs. It withheld final judgment, however, until it could hear further from the parties on the remedy the FTC was seeking: more than $450 million in consumer redress and lifetime bans on Hewitt and Gravink.
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Lanham Act Battle Over Definition of ‘Sugar’ in Advertising Heats Up 
In connection with the ongoing battle for market share between growers of cane and beet sugar and manufacturers of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), several growers, producers and refiners of table sugar made from sugar cane or sugar beets – and two related trade associations – filed suit against various corn refiners, including Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., Cargill, and their trade association, alleging violations of the Lanham Act (Western Sugar Cooperative, et al. v. Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., et al., U.S. District Court, Central District of California).
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Committee Corner
DRMA News & Case Studies

DRMA Spotlights Inter/Media Group of Companies: New Digs, but the Same Commitment to Excellence

The incredible attention to detail at the Inter/Media Group of Companies’® brand new home office in Woodland Hills, Calif., makes perfect sense to anyone who has spent time with the company’s CEO and president, Bob Yallen. In his 27th year with the company his father Syd founded in 1974, the younger Yallen’s passion for the advertising business is surpassed only by his longtime commitment to driving InterMedia to new and greater heights.

“In college, I was an All-American sprinter at Cal State Northridge, and I’d say that I still move pretty quickly,” he says. “I was working summers through high school and college with Inter/Media, and after I got my bachelor’s degree in business, I went on to law school because I wanted to bring a little more depth to what Inter/Media could offer.”

Yallen’s J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law had an emphasis in entertainment law, something that’s been a key driver of the agency’s entertainment division — one of the agency’s 10 business units. “We’ve become a company with assets in the media, advertising, entertainment, communication, marketing and creative sectors,” Yallen says.

That expansion figures in Yallen’s quarter-century quest to find a building to house the company’s corporate headquarters in the Los Angeles area (Inter/Media also has offices in New York and Dallas). “One reason we wanted to buy our own building was to control our own growth and destiny. Also, from an investment standpoint it just penciled out,” Yallen says.

Read the complete June 2012 DRMA Spotlight of Inter/Media here, and view the Spotlight video here. Response Magazine highlights different DRMA members each month in our DRMA Spotlight. Interested in learning more? Contact John Yarrington at or (714) 338-6724.

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