How do telemarketing laws impact your business?

📌 Overview of Applicable Laws
The Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) places several prohibitions and restrictions on calls or texts to consumers, such as whether businesses use equipment that qualifies as an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS or auto-dialer).

The definition of ATDS has been at the forefront of TCPA litigation, particularly considering changing technology.

In Facebook v. Duguid (2021), the United States Supreme Court issued its ruling to decide a split on the definition of an ATDS, and, by doing that, the Court narrowed the dialing systems that qualify as an ATDS or auto-dialer under the TCPA by deciding that a device must have the capacity either to store a telephone number using a random or sequential number generator or to produce a telephone number using a random or sequential number generator.

On the other hand, many states (Florida, Oklahoma, and Washington included) have enacted mini-TCPAs in their states that include a broader definition of ATDS than the TCPA post-Duguid.

📌 Takeaway
Now businesses need to be aware of both the federal and state requirements when creating a compliant calling and texting campaign. Does your business engage in telemarketing?

💡 Need Help?
Contact Your Ad Attorney, Inc. today to discuss how we can help you comply with the TCPA and state telemarketing laws.

Intuit in Hot Water with the FTC for misleading “free” claim

📋 The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently alleged that Intuit/TurboTax engaged in misleading ads for claiming that they offer “free” tax-filing services with inadequate disclaimers. The company failed to explain how people can make “free” tax filings or even clarify that the “free” claim only applies to consumers who file “simple tax returns.”

The FTC said that Intuit’s disclaimers were:

🔸Inadequate because the “free” tax-filing service is limited to “simple tax returns” or “simple U.S. returns only;”
🔸Disproportionately small when compared to the prominent text emphasizing the “free” service;
🔸Appearing for just a few seconds, in writing only, not read by voiceover, and often in color similar to the background;
🔸With eligibility requirements hidden behind a hyperlink over the words “See why it’s free,” requiring consumers to click on the hyperlink to trigger a pop-up explaining the limitations; and
🔸Unfair because their website forced consumers to spend significant time and effort creating an account and inputting their sensitive personal and financial information before learning they were ineligible for the “free” service.

Intuit has already agreed to settle claims with the attorneys general for all 50 states and the District of Columbia for $141 million, requiring Intuit/TurboTax to cease its “free” advertising campaign.

📌 The TurboTax case is a reminder that all advertising must be truthful and not misleading to consumers, and, more importantly, disclosures must be presented clearly and conspicuously. Disclosures cannot cure a false claim or provide information contradicting a material claim. Businesses should also avoid designing customer flows with #darkpatterns that hide or delay disclosure of material information (like fees!) or adopting bait-and-switch messaging to lead consumers to a more expensive outcome.

☎️Contact Your Ad Attorney today. We help businesses comply with advertising laws.

Do you need free GA CLE credits?

📌If you need GA CLE credits (including ethics and professionalism!), check out this link Wellness is the New Normal ( It is now free and you can earn 6 Georgia CLE hours including 1 Ethics, 1 Professionalism, and 1 Trial Practice credit.

✨Wellness is important!

Did you know that in survey of over 12,800 attorneys that:
▪️28% of the participating lawyers had experienced depression;
▪️11.5% of the participating lawyers reported having suicidal thoughts during their career; and
▪️23% of the participating lawyers believed that their alcohol use was a problem.
*Results from a 2015 study conducted by the ABA and published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine in January/February 2016

That’s why I am committed to trying to improve attorney mental health by providing work/life balance at my law firm and speaking at events at the State Bar of Georgia and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Conference. I recently shared my experiences with battling mental health issues at the State Bar of Georgia’s “Wellness is the New Normal” CLE program (linked above) and Transition Into Law Program. More than 1,600 virtual and physical lawyers registered for the programs combined.

💡Did you know that the State Bar of Georgia provides free mental health resources for lawyers liecnsed in the state, including:
🔸six pre-paid clinic counseling sessions per calendar year
🔸peer support and
🔸a 24/7 confidential telephone hotline staffed by trained counselors to help with depression, stress, alcohol/drug abuse, family problems, workplace conflicts, psychological issues, and other issues.

☎️ Call 800-327-9631 to get free help that’s included in your GA Bar annual dues and check out the Lawyers Living Well webpage of the State Bar of Georgia for more information (

Is your business in compliance with state and federal telemarketing laws?

☎️ In Muccio v. Global Motivation, Inc., the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissed a class action complaint involving a plaintiff who received five unsolicited marketing text messages in violation of the Florida Telephone Solicitation Act (FTSA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) because the plaintiff failed to allege that the violations resulted in a concrete injury.

Rather than focusing on the quantitative number of messages the plaintiff received, the court’s decision focused on the qualitative nature of the injury and followed the Eleventh Circuit’s Salcedo v. Hanna decision, which requires a holistic review of factors, including whether:
🔹plaintiff experienced a “financial loss or other pecuniary harm,”
🔹the content of the text messages was “highly offensive,” and
🔹plaintiff’s injury is more than a “bare statutory violation” or “generalized allegations of inconvenience, invasion of privacy, aggravation, annoyance.”

The lawsuit, subject to an appeal, demonstrates that plaintiffs continue to challenge telemarketing practices. The Eleventh Circuit’s (which includes federal courts in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama) embrace of a narrower interpretation of injury when assessing violations of the TCPA and similar state laws is not necessarily the framework elsewhere. We recommend thoroughly reviewing your business’s marketing practices, including analyzing which state laws apply.

💡Does your business engage in telemarketing? Contact Your Ad Attorney, Inc. today to discuss how we can help you comply with the TCPA and state telemarketing laws.

Did you fail to disclose information on social media? Don’t make the same “blunder”

Last month, the reality tv star, Kim Kardashian, paid a $1.26 million fine to settle charges brought against her by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for failing to disclose that she received $250,000 to promote EthereumMax’s digital tokens, “EMAX tokens,” on social media.

The fine was a “gift” to the SEC, said Lisa Braganca, former enforcement branch chief at the agency: “The SEC is always looking for a way to get the message out to the public, and when somebody with the kind of following that Kim Kardashian has makes a blunder like this … that’s a layup for the SEC”.

In fact, SEC chair Gary Gensler made plain that the high-profile case was picked up by the government agency because Kardashian failed to mention how much she was paid to promote EMAX in an Instagram post—something necessary when promoting securities.

Later, the UK Financial Conduct Authority chair Charles Randell called Kardashian’s post the “financial promotion with the single biggest audience reach in history.”

In the settlement, where she did not admit wrongdoing, Kardashian agreed to cooperate with the SEC’s ongoing investigation and not to promote crypto assets for three years.

But the saga continues: Kim Kardashian and boxer Floyd Mayweather are now apparently set to win a lawsuit brought by disgruntled investors claiming that Kardashian and Mayweather worked to pump up the price of EthereumMax tokens intending to dump them, leaving others out of pocket.

And now, to open November, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Fitzgerald issued a tentative court ruling saying that lawyers for the disgruntled investors were “trying to act like” the SEC. Tentative rulings show how a judge is set to rule in a case before it hits the court.

The takeaway: Failures to disclose are serious, and penalties for such failures can be severe, no matter your intention. Don’t make the same “blunder.”

Supply Chain Charges? Make Them Plain to Your Customers!

Has your business been impacted by supply chain disruptions? Have you responded by imposing additional charges? A recent case involving the paint giant, Sherwin-Williams, makes clear what NOT to do!

Last year, Sherwin-Williams began imposing a 4% surcharge on all consumer purchases in response to COVID-related supply chain costs. Class action plaintiffs in New York now allege they suffered economic injury as a result of a “deceptive bait-and-switch scheme”.

Specifically, customer plaintiffs allege:
❌ Sherwin-Williams’ surcharges were added “covertly” because they weren’t included in listed product prices but were nonetheless tacked on at the register;
❌ no signs or disclosures told them about the 4% surcharge while they were shopping;
❌ they were “often entirely unaware of the surcharge until after paying and checking out”; and
❌ if they’d known about the surcharge, they wouldn’t have bought their paint from Sherwin-Williams.

📌 Avoid adding “late in process” fees. Price adjustments should be consumer-friendly; customers should know about price adjustments while shopping and not afterwards.
📌 This can be as easy as building adjustments into a retail price that is clearly and conspicuously displayed in-store.
📌 Providing additional pricing or fee information in a transparent way, early in a transaction, can help retailers avoid investigations or lawsuits.

💡Need help making sure your business’ practices comply with the law? Contact us at Your Ad Attorney.

Intuit will pay $141 million as settlement after tricking people to pay for TurboTax

Intuit, the developer of TurboTax, will pay millions of Americans as part of a $141 million settlement with the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The investigation, led by Letitia James of New York, revealed how Intuit tricked people into paying for TurboTax software even though they were eligible to receive it for free. The company admitted no wrongdoing and agreed to pay $141 million to put this matter behind it.

The deal covers those who paid TurboTax for the tax years 2016 to 2018. For each year a person paid for eligible tax filing services, the company will send them approximately $30.

The logistics of distributing the money will be handled by a third party. These payments will be sent by check or electronic services such as PayPal and Venmo. More than 465,000 consumers in Texas are expected to receive restitution payments from Intuit, along with more than 371,000 purchasers in California and more than 176,000 in New York.

Intuit will have to stop marketing TurboTax under “free” ad campaign and make several improvements with its disclosure of products. The company said that it already complies to most of the advertising practices and expects minimal effect from implementing the changes moving forward.

Contact me if you need help making sure your business’s marketing is under compliance with the law!

Are You Shopping Safely Online? Here are 7 tips to help you spot fake online shops.

According to the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) 2021 Online Purchase Scams Report, out of 9,821 unsafe website URLs reported to BBB Scam Tracker, only 11 were found in Google Safe Browsing. 

While harmful sites are being marked and taken down, new ones are being launched daily. Practice safer online shopping with these helpful tips.

1️⃣ Look for the lock

A website is secure when there is a small lock icon on the address bar and “https” in the URL (the s stands for “secure”). While the lock icon doesn’t determine if a website is a scam, it shows the site has some form of protection from being hacked. If the website only has “http” in the URL, do not give your personal or payment information.

2️⃣ Inspect the web address

Fake sites will often have web addresses that are similar to well-known brand names with a letter or character out of place, a different domain extension, or sometimes a subdomain.

3️⃣ Verify site seals

Scammers are great at making a website and email look official by copying official seals and other features. If the business has any trust seals, you can check the validity by looking up the company on the seal’s official website.

4️⃣ Look for contact information and policies

Check for multiple types of contact information, like phone, email, physical address, and online chat. Be cautious of a website that doesn’t have multiple forms of contact.

If a company is selling a product online, it should have a shipping and return policy that’s clear and easy to understand. The website should also have terms and conditions and a privacy policy that explains what information it collects from you, how it’ll use the data, and how it stores the information.

5️⃣ Examine content for spelling and grammar errors

A legitimate business would take great care in making their website look professional. Excessive spelling and grammar errors could be a sign that the website went up quickly.

6️⃣Check the site’s domain age

Fake sites often have a short lifespan before they are taken down. You can find out how long a domain has been active with online tools. If a website is new, be extra careful.

7️⃣ Do your research

Conduct a simple search for company reviews. A legitimate site should have reviews that are recent and detailed about the product or service. Fake reviews are often generic, brief, not descriptive, and sometimes similar to one another.

Search the website’s name with the word “scam.” If others have fallen victim to a fake site, you will likely find these reports.

👉 Find these tips helpful? Like and follow for more!


Are your marketing messages READABLE?

Why should we have more readable marketing messages?

1️⃣ More people will read it!

Studies show that content written at the 6th to 8th grade level can have 18% to 75% more readers than writing at the 9th grade level or higher.

2️⃣ People are more likely to share it!

One study shows that content written at the 5th grade level is 15% more likely to be shared compared to average whereas college level material was 20% less likely than average to be shared.

How can you create readable content?

✔️ Target 6th-8th grade readability, if possible.

✔️ Use the readability statistics tool built into Microsoft Word

✔️ Use one of several free online readability tools if you don’t have Word.

Are you Treasuring Your Colleagues?

Expressing gratitude to your colleagues is shown to make YOU happier–not just the recipient of the gratitude!

However, on a typical day, only 10% of people express genuine and thoughtful gratitude to a colleague.

Some research also shows that receiving gratitude makes employees more engaged at work and more likely to help their colleagues!

Try these tips!

✔️ After a meeting, thank those who attended and be specific about what input was helpful.

✔️ Publicly give credit to those who contribute to your work or your team’s work

✔️ Give a thoughtful compliment to someone who has helped you in the past. It’s never too late to say “thank you” and it could be a great way to get back in touch if you haven’t spoken to them in a while!

💫 BONUS: For more, read “Joy at Work” by Marie Kondo and Mark Sonenshein.


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