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March 2016

FTC Assault on Lord & Taylor Follows Viral Product Bomb Campaign

March 25, 2016

Industry members were surprised to see swift enforcement of the FTC’s Native Advertising Enforcement Policy, disseminated in December 2015. On March 15, 2016, the FTC announced its first consent order under this policy. Retailer Lord & Taylor (L&T) had run a highly successful social media “product bomb” campaign in March 2015 to launch its apparel line Design Lab. The campaign focused on one paisley, asymmetrical dress. L&T contracted with Nylon, an online fashion magazine, to run an article about the collection and feature the paisley dress. L&T also required Nylon to post a photo of the dress on its Instagram page. L&T reviewed both the article and the Instagram post before publication but failed to require a disclosure that they were paid advertising. Instead, the FTC alleged that L&T falsely and deceptively presented Nylon’s content as independent opinion about the Design Lab line.



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