Category Archives: advertising

You have to laugh or you’ll cry: supplement regulation

John Oliver has yet another fantastic, and accurate, advertising law-related story, this time focusing on the deliberate unregulation of dietary supplements.

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Grande deception?

Starbucks and the “free” college education for its workers: The reporting on Starbucks’ offer has gone beyond the headline—and if treated like ordinary advertising, that headline is misleading.  As it turns out, Starbucks will only pay in full for two … Continue reading

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reading list: marijuana advertising and lessons from tobacco

Kimber P. Richter, Ph.D., M.P.H. & Sharon Levy, M.D., M.P.H., Big Marijuana — Lessons from Big Tobacco, New England Journal of Medicine: [T]obacco was not always as lethal or addictive as it is today. In the 1880s, few people used … Continue reading

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islands in the stream: Netflix v. Verizon

Netflix responds to Verizon’s C&D. For those not keeping track, it started when Netflix started sending error message to certain Verizon customers experiencing playback difficulties, telling them that the Verizon network was slow. Verizon responded angrily, threatening suit and demanding … Continue reading

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Is embedded advertising any good?

Negative take on “native advertising” from a purely advertiser-focused viewpoint. The author’s basic argument is that native advertising is essentially by definition unlikely to generate positive brand attention, because who the sponsor is will be forgettable. Query whether the “mere … Continue reading

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Pet (food) sounds

I’m quoted in this St. Louis Post-Dispatch story about the Purina v. Blue Buffalo pet food dispute.

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Pom Wonderful and other misleading food claims

Alan Levinovitz has a great article in Slate about scientific claims on food, which he argues are both misleading us and making us dumber.  You should read the whole thing, not least because he (perhaps with tongue in cheek?) calls … Continue reading

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Slate on GMO labeling

Slate’s story focuses on the question of the cost of labels.  If it’s just ink, the cost is virtually zero. However, if labeling changes consumer behavior (or retailer behavior), costs may change substantially.  The story, perplexingly, doesn’t discuss the question … Continue reading

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When is help with a free process worth $80?

Charging $80 to fill out a free application for student aid?  Vox has a story about two websites that do so, using official sounding domain names.  Shades of  The story claims that the federal government’s recent registration of a … Continue reading

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Vermont enacts GMO/natural labeling law

The law requires foods containing GMO organisms to be labeled and bars the use of “natural” on such foods.  More reason, perhaps, to expect federal action on “natural” sooner rather than later?

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