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False Advertising and Unfair Competition Litigation

Sharp. Cross-disciplined. Measured.

While it may be legally foolproof to counsel clients to reengineer their marketing to eliminate all risks, Rothwell Figg’s False Advertising practice group excels at balancing risk and reward. We devise custom solutions that protect clients while minimizing the impact on their overall marketing objectives.

WHAT WE DO: At the most basic level, our role is to counsel clients to avoid or defend claims of false advertising, and when necessary, swiftly respond to negative and false attacks directed at their reputation. We help with counseling, enforcement and defense. This arises in endless variations, such as:

  • A claim from a competitive or comparative advertising statement that triggers objection
  • A competitor making misleading claims
  • A rogue employee posting something they should not
  • An unauthorized use of IP
  • A negative statement published about the company or product

HOW: The “how” is more demanding: we strive to offer very practical solutions to precisely fit every problem. Sometimes the solutions are intricate, sometimes straightforward, sometimes exceedingly simple – including taking no action at all. Regardless of the situation, the objective always is to arrive at a solution that precisely meets each client’s needs, priorities and strategy. Our ability to do this is a function of our extensive experience.

As a recent example, we counseled a client who was challenged because its advertisement specified that its product was “compatible” with another company’s product. We worked with the client to identify acceptable alternative language, and in so doing, addressed the immediate situation. But we also advised the client about what language it was not required to modify, and what constituted fair competition. Our experience allowed us to confidently advise that, despite the other side’s allegations, it was not necessary to recreate its entire advertisement.

Our success also arises from our agility. As an example of this, in cases where public comments risk damaging our client’s reputation, the speed in which we swiftly respond is often the crucial factor in successfully mitigating the client’s harm.

We bring a high level of expertise, flexibility and experience to every engagement. We combine this with an exceptionally high level of excellent and attentive client service, characterized by responsiveness, understanding our clients’ needs, and providing them everything they need but nothing they do not need. Ours is a very scalable approach and our track record shows it has been successful and productive for our clients for decades.

In recent years, social media has changed many parts of the false advertising field. Companies need to be very cautious in who they allow to speak for them on the social media, and what message is conveyed. Issues of false advertising versus opinion and First Amendment protected speech become nuanced and complex on social media posts. Our experience in this area makes us the counselors of choice for clients who need to analyze and manage complex social media situations involving allegations of false advertising.

We have deep experience offering everything from a quick opinion when a small budget or situation dictates, to a large-scale, comprehensive review, analysis and strategic game plan, in high-stakes, company-critical matters. By seamlessly addressing both short-term needs and long-term goals, we help clients manage the challenges of false advertising, and in so doing, keep their marketing and advertising strategies on track and protected.