“Natural” is Actionable - FTC Confirms K&F’s Long-Held Litigation Position
May. 17, 2016|By Gregory B. Collins
Our attorneys frequently handle false advertising claims filed under 15 U.S.C. § 1225(d), the Lanham Act. On behalf of our clients, we have alleged that a competitor falsely advertises it products as “natural” when the product contains synthetic materials. Some attorneys have argued that because the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has not defined “natural,” a jury is not competent to determine whether a product is in fact natural. Under this erroneous reasoning, a company could advertise any product as “natural,” no matter how artificial its ingredients.
On April 12, 2016, the FTC made clear that Kercsmar & Feltus’ position on “natural” is the law. In a press release, the FTC announced it had reached a settlement with four companies that falsely claimed their products were “all natural.” Among other things, the settlement bars these companies from advertising their products as natural going forward. Commenting on settlement, the Director of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection, Jessica Rich, explained: “‘All natural’ or ‘100 percent natural’ means just that -- no artificial ingredients or chemicals. Companies should take a lesson from these cases.”