Actual size may vary. Every consumer has seen phrases like this, sometimes called wiggle words, which have legal ramifications for manufacturers and which are regulated by both state and federal law.
Catholic University law students interested in learning more about such matters were treated to “Consumer Protection and Advertising Law—An Emerging Practice Area with Exciting Career Possibilities,” an Oct. 25 presentation by the Private Advertising Litigation Committee of the ABA Antitrust Section.
Four expert practitioners, three from private practice and one with the federal government, gave students a broad overview of what consumer protection laws regulate, how they work, and where the practice area is headed in terms of employment.
They also covered the basics of the field, discussing, for example, the legal standards for proof when manufacturers and advertisers make claims such as America’s Favorite Pasta!
In recent years there has been a tidal wave of green claims, with thousands of products and services using words like “natural” and “hormone free” to describe their charms for consumers.
“This is a growing area of advertising law if you’re interested,” said panelist Adrienne Fowler (above), a trial attorney with the consumer protection branch at U.S. Department of Justice.