Here's a quick recap of the Federal Trade Commission's closing letters from February, and they're both about "made in USA" issues.
On February 5th, the FTC closed an investigation into whether LumenFocus may have overstated the extent to which its products were made in the United States. The FTC said that, although the company performs manufacturing processes in the U.S., some of its LED lighting products incorporate significant imported content. Although there aren't a lot of details in the closing letter, it appears that the FTC was concerned that the company used "made in USA" claims in marketing materials that advertised multiple products, even though not all of the advertised products were made here. The FTC wrote, "unqualified U.S.-origin claims in marketing materials –- including claims that products are 'Made,' 'Built,' or 'Manufactured' in the USA –- likely suggest to consumers that all products advertised in those materials are 'all or virtually all' made in the United States." As part of its remedial efforts to prevent deception in the future, the company agreed to update marketing materials and social media, train marketing staff, communicate changes to distributors, and assign direct responsibility for and oversight over these types of claims to the company's president & CEO.
On February 19th, the FTC closed an investigation into "made in USA" claims made by Wagner Spray Tech Corporation, which does business as "Titan Tool." Here, the FTC expressed concerns that although the company sells a mix of USA-assembled products and imported products, the company's marketing materials made broad claims that its products were "Built in America with Globally Sourced Materials." The FTC also that, for certain USA-assembled products, Titan Tool used versions of a "Built in America with Globally Sourced Materials" emblem that failed to include the "with Globally Sourced Materials" qualifier in a typeface sufficiently large to be read or noticed by reasonable consumers. The FTC said, "In order to be effective, any qualifications or disclosures should be sufficiently clear, prominent, and understandable to prevent deception." As part of closing the matter, the company agreed to take various remedial efforts.
This alert provides general coverage of its subject area. We provide it with the understanding that Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz is not engaged herein in rendering legal advice, and shall not be liable for any damages resulting from any error, inaccuracy, or omission. Our attorneys practice law only in jurisdictions in which they are properly authorized to do so. We do not seek to represent clients in other jurisdictions.