Photo of Christopher A. Cole

Christopher Cole is a co-chair of Crowell & Moring's Technology & Brand Protection Group, a team that provides interdisciplinary solutions to companies facing challenging competitive and regulatory issues (and a leader of the firm's global ESG Advisory Team). Chris focuses on false advertising litigation, unfair competition, reputation, brand disparagement, and intellectual property. He is an experienced litigator, handling Lanham Act and consumer class action cases, and defending against Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforcement and related investigations. He has handled dozens of cases before the National Advertising Division (NAD).

At the end of 2021, the California Statewide Commission on Recycling Markets and Curbside Recycling (the “Commission”) sent a letter to The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, also known as CalRecycle, and California Attorney General Rob Bonta, asking them to investigate illegal labeling of plastic bags as recyclable by retailers.

The Commission is

Companies who make ambitious marketing claims about purported clean energy efforts may find that they are exposed to litigation under the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act (DCCPPA). The DCCPPA is an expansive consumer protection law that confers standing on any person, or nonprofit organization, to sue either on behalf of herself or “in the public interest” for false advertising. A recent DCCPPA lawsuit against energy giant, Exxon Mobil Corporation, serves as the latest example of a swelling risk to corporate defendants who may be subject to suit in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Companies should thus carefully advertise their clean energy efforts, or other forward-leaning activities, in a manner that closely and accurately reflects the steps it is taking to achieve those goals.

Continue Reading DC’s Consumer Protection Law Presents Risks for Companies Advertising Clean Energy Efforts: Just Ask Exxon

Last week the Supreme Court unanimously held that §13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act does not give the Federal Trade Commission the power to seek equitable monetary relief such as disgorgement or restitution. The Court’s opinion in AMG Capital Management LLC v. Federal Trade Commission removes a powerful tool that the FTC has long relied on to pursue monetary relief for consumers in both consumer protection and competition matters.

Continue Reading The Supreme Court Limits FTC’s §13(b) Powers