In my previous article, “You Can Sue Your Competitor For False Advertising,” I point out that the FTC can’t possibly enforce false advertising laws against every company violating these laws in the marketplace. The agency just doesn’t have the budget or the expertise to do so. Therefore competitors are often left to police the market themselves, with a focus on protecting their legitimate revenues from being diminished by shady operators generating revenue from false claims.
A recent case filed in Arizona federal court illustrates this sort of policing of competitors. Dietary supplement firm ThermoLife International LLC accused its rival American Fitness Wholesalers LLC of false advertising and unfair competition, alleging that the company has improperly labeled its products,” and and that the company did not disclose that their products contain illegal ingredients, including steroids. Thermolife accused their competitor of selling products that contain ingredients that the FDA has determined are drugs, all the while telling consumers that the products were safe, natural dietary supplements.
This case demonstrates the limits of FTC enforcement capabilities on a broad scale. Here are a few of my observations about the efficacy of competitors enforcing the law.
You have the right to sue a competitor for false or deceptive advertising or for unfair competition, even though it may be an area where the FTC could theoretically also bring an enforcement action. Feel free to contact me if you are considering legal action against a competitor that is engaging in deceptive practices or unfair competition.Karl Kronenberg, Partner 415-955-1155, Ext. 114
This entry was posted on Friday, December 21, 2018 and is filed under FTC Advertising Law Compliance, Internet Law News.