At the annual BAA/ANA Marketing Law Conference last week, Andrew Smith, the Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, gave a keynote address, sharing some of his thoughts about what marketers should expect to see from the FTC. Here are some of the highlights.
Smith said that there's a "big emphasis on law enforcement" at the Commission. He said that the FTC is doing a lot and there's a "huge amount in the pipeline."
Smith also said that the Commissioners are asking him to pursue tougher remedies and novel remedies. He noted that the Commission has begun a review of the types of remedies that it seeks and they're asking him to look for more money -- and money in more cases.
In addition, Smith said that he hasn't seen any resistance among the Commissioners to bringing national advertising cases. He said that if there are good cases, "we are going to bring them."
Smith also said that the Commission is asking him to look at the kinds of findings and admissions that are required in consent orders.
He also pointed out that the FTC continues to be very interested in health and safety issues, including the opioid epidemic and e-cigarettes. He also said that online advertising issues continue to be a priority.
Smith also pointed out that because he's new, and because all five Commissioners are also new, "we're all still finding our way." He cautioned that all of this is subject to change.
Smith, who was appointed by FTC Chairman Joe Simons, became the BCP Director in May.
"You'll see changes in the way we do things."