After more than a decade of trying to gain traction on Capitol Hill, brick-and-mortar retailers could be close to leveling the playing field with online merchants if the Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act (“MITFA”) Senate bill proceeds.
Consumers frequently reveal personal information about themselves through a variety of daily online and offline activities. For fashion designers and retailers, this consumer information represents a valuable tool to identify, target, and expand customer advertising and messaging. This information can be utilized by employing a data broker, or a company who aggregates consumer information and do provide information about the relevant consumer marketplace. Data brokers collect, maintain, manipulate, and share a significant amount of data about consumers without ever directly interacting with them. While data brokers afford a major advantage for retailers, including fashion companies, they also raise privacy concerns for the consumers that data brokers profile. The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently issued a report summarizing the results of its study on the activities of nine data brokers, and recommended that Congress consider enacting legislation to make data broker practices more transparent or to give consumers greater control over the personal information that is collected about them and shared by data brokers. This post summarizes the portions of the FTC’s report that are most relevant for fashion retailers and designers.
Since early 2014, the Federal Trade Commission has charged at least fourteen U.S. businesses in varying industries, from fashion to telecommunications, for falsely claiming to participate in the US – EU Safe Harbor privacy. Three of the companies were also charged with similar violations of the US – Swiss Safe Harbor. The Safe Harbor provisions were designed to provide U.S. and European organizations a legal, cost-effective means for transmitting consumer data outside of European countries, which maintain strict data privacy laws. On June 25, 2014, the FTC reported approval of final orders settling charges of US – EU Safe Harbor violations against the fourteen entities.
L’Occitane Inc’s advertisements for its topically-applied body sculpting almond extracts seemed straightforward: “Almond Shaping Delight 3 out of 4 women saw firmer, lifted skin. This luxuriously lightweight massage gel instantly melts into the skin to help visibly refine and sculpt the silhouette” and “Almond Beautiful Shape Trim 1.3 inches in just 4 weeks. This ultra-fresh gel cream helps to visibly reduce the appearance of cellulite, while smoothing and firming the skin.” [see FTC complaint and exhibits]
West Hollywood, California’s controversial law banning the sale of fur within city limits survived a legal challenge by a luxury retailer last month. A federal court dismissed the action brought by Mayfair House Inc., a retailer that sells high-end clothing products, including products made wholly or partly of animal fur, challenging the ordinance as unconstitutionally vague and arbitrary in violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and violating state laws preventing the City from enacting wildlife-related ordinances.
The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) enforces federal labeling requirements that require manufacturers, importers, sellers and distributors of certain textile and wool clothing to accurately label their products. For example, FTC rules require that manufacturers indicate the country of origin and fiber content in their clothing. In addition, the Care Labeling Rule requires that manufacturers and importers attach “care labels” to garments and certain piece goods.
Native advertisements represent not only an increasingly popular and effective means of promotion for marketers, it also represents a massive headache for the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). Native advertising, also known as corporate content or branded journalism, is marketing material that is designed to mimic the look and feel of the host website. While the look of native advertisements differs depending on the host website, the underlying goal for marketers is the same – make the advertisement look and feel like editorial content.
Enjoy a front row seat as a fictional corporation confronts a fashion industry crisis ripped from the headlines – a massive cyber security breach and its fallout. Participate in the problem solving discussions with industry experts from the US, European Community and South America as the events unfold. You will receive practical advice on crisis communications, privacy law and litigation strategy.
This will be a Sheppard Mullin Fashion Week event that you will not want to miss.
Click here to read more and register.
Since the first major fashion documentary featuring designer Isaac Mizrahi, “Unzipped,” made its debut in 1995, the popularity of fashion documentaries has only gained traction. Within the past five years, a smattering of renowned brands, including Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, and Valentino, as well as some fixtures in fashion like Anna Wintour and Diana Vreeland, have allowed cameras to capture their exclusive world of fashion through their respective documentaries. More recently, James Franco, the former face of Gucci, steered his production company toward a collaboration with Gucci’s creative director Frida Giannini, creating the documentary entitled “The Director: An Evolution in Three Acts.” The film, which debuted last spring at the Tribeca Film Festival, documented how a Gucci collection comes together. Even retailers are following suit, with documentaries such as director Matthew Miele’s “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf Goodman,” which features the history of New York’s famous luxury department store, making their way to audiences.
Under the Federal Trade Commission’s 1997 Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims, in order to say a product is made in the USA, “all or virtually all” of the product has to be U.S.-made. All significant parts and processing must be of U.S. origin, and the product should contain no — or negligible — foreign content.