Advertising and marketing: litigation in United States

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

With particular experience advising clients in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and retail sectors, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's New York-based practice handles a range of intellectual property and false advertising litigation before the courts, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and National Advertising Division (NAD). A team led by practice head David Bernstein and cybersecurity and data privacy partner Jeremy Feigelson successfully settled false advertising litigation brought by Guardant Healt against its client Foundation Medicine relating to the companies' competing cancer testing products. Jyotin Hamid and Bernstein lead a team including counsel Megan Bannigan which continues to represent Merck KGaA in coordination of global false advertising litigation pending in 11 jurisdictions. In another work highlight, the practice advised BA Sports Nutrition before the NAD in a challenge brought by Stokley Van-Camp, which has now been referred to the FTC. Other key names to note include Michael Schaper, James Pastore and Washington DC-based healthcare sector expert Paul Rubin. The group's impressive client roster also includes American Express, L’Oreal USA, Costco Wholesale Corporation and Unilever.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

The New York-based advertising litigation practice at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP boasts experience handling a range of disputes against both competitors and consumers, and is jointly led by Norman Simon and Harold Weinberger. In recent work, the duo continue to defend True Car in Lanham Act litigation brought by numerous independent car dealers and Simon, alongside Eileen Patt, is representing Revlon and Almay in a putative class action complaint alleging that Almay products are falsely labelled hypoallergenic. The team also acted for Procter & Gamble in a challenge brought before the NAD relating to advertising by Rodan + Fields. The group's impressive client portfolio also includes Starbucks, Neutrogena Corporation and ExxonMobil.

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP's New York-based false advertising practice counts Eli Lilly, Blue Buffalo Company and The Hershey Company among its clients. Steven Zalesin led a team which successfully defended Coca-Cola in a putative class action where plaintiffs argued the false use of the term 'diet' in Diet Coke, as no-calorie soft drinks purportedly do not assist with weight loss or weight management. Other work includes representing Johnson & Johnson in Lanham Act litigation brought by Andover Healthcare alleging products were inaccurately labeled as not made with natural rubber latex, because they contained latex proteins. Changes to the team include the departure of Travis Tu to an in-house role at the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Proskauer Rose LLP

The false advertising practice at Proskauer Rose LLP handles a range of class actions and litigation against competitors. In a recent work highlight, the firm successfully achieved a $9.9m damages award for its client Church & Dwight in Lanham Act litigation brought against the company's competitor in the home pregnancy test market, SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics. Lawrence Weinstein, who heads the practice alongside Brendan O’Rourke, is defending PVH Corp in three consumer class actions alleging fraudulent discount price advertising at Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Van Heusen outlet stores in California. Alexander Kaplan, who boasts experience in advertising, trademark and copyright litigation, is another key name to note. All attorneys are based in New York.

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP

Christie Thompson heads the Washington DC-based advertising and marketing law practice at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, which is noted particularly for its experience handling class action litigation, FTC investigations and challenges before the NAD. The team successfully settled a consolidated class action for Riddell Sports Group which alleged the company misrepresented that its Revolution varsity and youth football helmets possessed concussion reduction technology. Kristi Wolff led the representation of Nestlé in a NAD challenge against Beech-Nut relating to several claims made in the advertisement for its cereal products, including the use of the terms 'sensitive', 'natural' and '0 grams' of sugar. The team also boast experience handling Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigation; acting for Essendant, it achieved the denial of class certification in an action which alleged that the company had sent junk faxes in violation of the TCPA. Other key names to note include John Villafranco and New Jersey-based Lauri Mazzuchetti.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP advertising, marketing and promotions group fields a team of intellectual property litigation experts and frequently handles false advertising disputes. In the consumer class action space, it defended Colgate-Palmolive in a dispute alleging false and misleading advertising of the whitening properties of its Optic White toothpaste, and represented Sanderson Farms in allegations of false advertising from two consumer advocacy groups relating to its '100% natural' chicken. Washington DC-based Gregg LoCascio alongside Robin McCue and Megan New (both based in Chicago) successfully obtained a jury trial victory and $16m in damages for Dyson in false advertising litigation brought against its vacuum competitor SharkNinja. Ross Weisman, also in Chicago, is another key name to note. The practice also has experience advising clients before the FTC, the NAD and National Advertising Review Board (NARB).

Loeb & Loeb LLP

The advertising disputes practice at Loeb & Loeb LLP is jointly led by Thomas Jirgal and David Mallen, based in Chicago and New York respectively. Mallen has particular experience acting for clients before the NAD and in a recent highlight successfully defended GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in a challenge initiated by Procter & Gamble relating to GSK's product claims in connection to its over-the-counter fiber laxative Citrucel. The team also represented Rodan + Fields in Lanham Act litigation against Procter & Gamble (P&G), in which the client sought a declaration that advertising claims challenged by P&G were truthful and not misleading, and is acting for A. O. Smith in a suit alleging that the claims made by Rheem that it is the '#1 brand of water heaters' are false and misleading. BuzzFeed, T-Mobile and Comcast Cable Communications are all clients.

Morrison & Foerster LLP

The advertising and marketing team at Morrison & Foerster LLP has particular experience acting for clients in the technology, retail, and food and beverage sectors. It is handling a range of food misbranding class actions for clients such as Del Monte, Twinings, McCormick, Unilever and Amazon Preservation Partners, and is acting for Uber Technologies in several matters including TCPA litigation. San Francisco-based Tiffany Cheung heads the consumer class action practice: Los Angeles-based partner Dan Marmalefsky successfully defeated the plaintiffs’ bid for a nationwide class certification in allegations of misleading statements on can labels brought against clients Monster Beverage and Monster Energy, and David McDowell continues to represent FanDuel in over 40 multi-district litigation class action matters involving allegations of false advertising and misuse of confidential or proprietary information.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has experience handling advertising litigation for its consumer and pharmaceutical brand clients. San Antonio-based Saul Perloff and Jeffrey Margulies in Los Angeles jointly head the practice and are recommended particularly for Lanham Act litigation and defending consumer class action cases, respectively. Perloff and Paul Keller in New York are taking the lead in representing Provepharm in litigation against Akorn, alleging false advertising of Akorn's unapproved methylene blue product in comparison to Provepharm’s approved and highly purified Provay Blue product. The team is also defending Neogenis Labs against allegations that its labeling and commercial advertising violate Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act in ligation brought by ThermoLife. A consumer class action matter led by a team around Margulies is the representation of Deoleo US and Safeway in claims relating to each client’s labeling of olive oil.


Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

The 'friendly, approachable and professional' advertising and marketing team at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP 'offers clear, pragmatic and commercial advice' in litigation. San Francisco-based Robert Guite and Sascha Henry in Los Angeles successfully defended Starbucks in a class action alleging false advertisement of the volume of its mochas and lattes. In other work highlights, the practice was instructed by Fotona in false advertising challenges brought by its competitor Millennium Dental Technologies relating to laser dental devices used to treat periodontal conditions, and represented Califia Farms in a false advertising claim relating to the 'No Added Sugar' labeling of its tangerine juice product. The team also has experience acting for clients in TCPA litigation. New York-based Paul Garrity, who heads the advertising practice alongside Brian Anderson in San Francisco, is another key name to note.

Venable LLP

Venable LLP's advertising litigation practice attracts praise for its 'in-depth knowledge of the industry's landscape, great communication skills, persuasive arguments and strategic approach'. Washington-based Roger Colaizzi heads the practice and boasts broad experience spanning Lanham Act cases, class action litigation and brand protection. The team recently achieved a dismissal with prejudice of a class action complaint brought against its client Nutraclick concerning three testosterone-boosting supplement products. It is also representing Henkel Corporation in a putative consumer class action alleging that the labeling of Henkel’s line of Purex 'Natural Elements' laundry detergents is false and misleading to consumers because the products contain ingredients alleged to be synthetic and artificial. In another work highlight, San Francisco-based Angel Garganta successfully defended Dannon Company in false advertising claims relating to the 'All Natural' labeling of products.

Winston & Strawn LLP

The consumer and class action practice at Winston & Strawn LLP boasts a client roster including prominent brands such as Dell, Costco Wholesale and Mazda Motor. The team advised the latter on a putative nationwide class action alleging that Mazda falsely advertised its navigation software which purported to offer real-time traffic alerts in all of its 2016 model year cars. Other recent work highlights include Chicago-based Scott Glauberman's successful representation of Abbott Laboratories in a class action relating to the 'organic' labeling of its Similac infant formula, and Chicago-based Ronald Rothstein's defense of The JM Smucker Company and Big Heart Pet Brands in a case which confirmed that 'mere puffery' in advertising is not actionable under the Lanham Act . Other key names to note include Amanda Groves, who focuses on complex commercial litigation and splits her time between Charlotte and Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles-based Steve Smerek.