Skip to content

FTC Defense Lawyer Affiliate Marketing

FTC Defense Lawyer for Internet Marketing Community


In June 2018, FTC defense lawyer Richard B. Newman of Hinch Newman LLP was asked to present an online advertising compliance, regulatory investigations and government litigation webinar on behalf of the most prestigious and important online continuing legal education (CLE) providers, according to the National Law Journal. 

Topics FTC attorney Richard Newman covered included an examination of recent developments in social media marketing, a discussion of compliant disclosures and the FTC Endorsement Guides, and how to develop best practices for compliance in light of recent investigations and litigation brought by the Federal Trade Commissions, state attorneys general and other regulatory agencies regarding national advertising campaigns.  CLE credits were awarded for participation in the presentation. 

The course was entitled “Advertising and Marketing Law: The Regulatory Landscape & Commonly Encountered IP Issues.”  The course was worth 1.0 General CLE hours.  Mr. Newman was one of two presenters.

Growing FTC Interest in Affiliate Marketing and Online Advertising

Federal Trade Commission attorneys recover more than 2 billion for consumersThe Federal Trade Commission’s FTC attorneys have been steadily expanding its investigation and enforcement efforts for online advertising, particularly in the area of affiliate marketing. 

From advertisers, and manufacturers, to networks, publishers and payment processors, FTC attorneys dedicate significant staff and resources to ensuring that advertisements are truthful and do not contain exaggerated claims or misleading information to get people to click.  

The FTC also regularly partners with state and local regulators to enforce consumer protection laws and regulations, including those pertaining to telemarketing, FinTech, data privacy, health-related products and that otherwise impact vulnerable groups of individuals.

FTC Regulatory Landscape Webinar

Learn Strategies for FTC Advertising Compliance, Responding to CIDs and Defending Enforcement Actions

In this recent program with Lawline - a leading provider of online continuing legal education offering intelligence to attorneys across the country - FTC lawyer Richard B. Newman discussed advertising and promotional marketing campaign compliance, FTC CID investigations and FTC lawsuits.

Click on the thumbnail to check out a clip from the webcast.

FTC Lawyers Richard Newman on Lawline Webinar

Served an FTC CID or lawsuit? Need advertising compliance advice? Contact us.

FTC Consumer Report Category# of Reports% of Total
Imposter Scams535,41720.03%
Identity Theft444,60216.63%
Telephone and Mobile Services164,8766.17%
Bureaus, Information Furnishers and Report Users136,7485.11%
Auto Related104,6043.91%
Internet Services62,9422.35%
Health Care47,4101.77%
Business and Job Opportunities25,0680.94%
Computer Equipment and Software18,3500.69%
Investment Related14,8840.56%
Education14,2420.53%
Grants6,2740.23%
Charitable Solicitations4,3500.16%
Other391,56214.65%

Percentages are based on the total number of 2018 Sentinel reports (2,994,483).
Source: Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2018.

FTC Attorneys Division of Marketing Practices


The Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Marketing Practices investigates and enforces violations of the FTC Act and other federal consumer protection laws, including the Telemarketing Sales Rule, CAN-SPAM, the Business Opportunity Rule and the Magnuson-Moss Act.  FTC lawyers file enforcement actions in federal court for temporary restraining orders, permanent injunction relief and ancillary equitable relief, often freezing assets and seeking monetary relief.

The Marketing Practices Division is particularly focused on high-tech and Internet fraud.  It devotes significant monetary resources and FTC lawyers to actively police the affiliate marketing industry and the use emerging technologies.  It also coordinates closely with other local, state, federal and international law enforcement agencies

The Division of Marketing Practices develops Internet investigation training programs and maintains various enforcement priorities, a few of which are set forth below.

  • High-tech Internet and telephone scams
  • Deceptive telemarketing and direct mail marketing schemes
  • Fraudulent business opportunity scams
  • Telemarketing Sales Rule and Do Not Call violations

The FTC’s Division of Advertising Practices, in turn, safeguards consumers from unfair or deceptive advertising and marketing practices that cause economic injury, and raise health and safety concerns.  Enforcement priorities of the Advertising Practices Division include investigating and prosecuting unsubstantiated health-related advertising claims.

Regulatory Litigation Focus and Concentration


Mr. Newman presented the Internet marketing compliance and consumer protection defense course at the request of an award-winning legal education provider that is highly regarded by the legal community at large, including attorneys, corporate counsel and various legal professionals.  According to the Chief Executive Officer of the legal education services provider, it “takes pride in producing [an] extensive catalog of online CLE courses both with and for the best and brightest in the industry.”

A highly regarded leader in Internet marketing-related FTC and states attorneys general actions, and advertising and lead generation compliance, Richard has successfully defended affiliate marketers, networks, lead generators, emails marketers, telemarketers, tech industry participants and others within the interactive advertising ecosystem against state and federal government agencies alleging online consumer deception, fraud and privacy violations.

As an FTC attorney, Richard represents advertisers, marketers and Internet companies with the legal aspects of their national advertising and marketing businesses.  He conduct advertising clearance reviews and advises on direct marketing campaigns.  In addition to defending FTC and state attorney general investigations and enforcement actions, Richard handles complex consumer and business litigation involving false advertising issues.

Uncommon Insight


As an FTC defense lawyer experienced in interactive advertising matters, Richard possesses a solid reputation amongst various consumer protection agencies and insight into regulatory policies governing online advertising investigations and litigation matters.  In July 2018 Richard was asked for his thoughts about the new Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection by a leading telecom industry news publication.

In addition to advertising and marketing compliance and FTC investigations and defense, Mr. Newman’s seminar provided attendees with critically important information for marketers, including FTC enforcement policy, effective avoidance of regulatory landmines, how FTC defense attorneys can achieve the most favorable outcomes possible when the odds are stacked against them, the consequences of deceptive advertising, advertising disclosure requirements, performance claim standards, endorsement and testimonial guidance, online lead generation, privacy and data security, third-party liability theories and comparative advertising.

FTC Lawyer Challenging Judicial Enforcement Authority


The judicial enforcement authority of the FTC is the subject of hot debate, including the FTC’s authority to bring actions in federal court for abandoned conduct or when seeking monetary relief.  FTC lawyer Richard Newman possesses distinguished experience litigating and negotiating these cutting edge issues on behalf of marketing clients.

Under Section 13(b), the FTC may seek an injunction in federal court whenever the FTC has reason to believe … that any person, partnership, or corporation is violating, or is about to violate, any provision of law enforced by the FTC.  The FTC has routinely used Section 13(b) as the basis to file lawsuits in federal court to stop allegedly deceptive, unfair or anti-competitive conduct, and to seek permanent injunctive and monetary relief.

Some courts have recently held that FTC lawyers may not bring a case under Section 13(b) of the FTC Act when the FTC cannot articulate specific facts that a defendant “is violating” or “is about to violate” the law.  The issue has created circuit splits, as well as potential strategic defense opportunities.

Richard Newman is one of a handful of FTC attorneys to have briefed and argued the issue of whether the FTC is entitled to pursue monetary damages in federal court under Section 13(b) of the FTC Act. 

Circuit splits have also recently been created following the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit’s recent and controversial holding that the FTC does not have the right to monetary relief in the form of restitution under Section 13(b) of the FTC Act when initiating enforcement actions in federal court.  This decision goes further than the abandoned conduct argument because it actually limits the type of equitable relief the FTC can seeks at the conclusion of an enforcement proceeding. 

From advocacy to ad compliance and litigation, FTC lawyer Richard Newman defends the vital interests of digital marketers.  The firm knows and understands the FTC’s playbook.  We possess the experience to provide effective, efficient and strategic solutions to FTC CID investigations and enforcement lawsuits, and are often able to resolve regulatory issues quickly before they become enforcement actions. 

Real-World Experience


FTC lawyer Newman is a seasoned digital advertising lawyer that has earned a high level of respect within his field.  He has more than two decades of legal experience, and is regularly asked by national and international media outlets to speak about controversial regulatory issues. 

Mr. Newman assists clients in various practice areas, including advertising compliance, regulatory investigations, Internet law and digital media.  Internet marketers can turn to the firm for competent legal representation designed to meet business goals.

Contact an FTC defense lawyer for strategic guidance on regulatory compliance and, if necessary, to successfully navigate regulatory investigations and  enforcement proceedings. 

Representative Experience

The following are examples of select regulatory investigations and enforcement matters the firm has handled to successful resolution:

  • Represented developers of so-called mobile device and computer “stalking” apps in conjunction with a precedent-setting privacy and data security case brought by the Federal Trade Commission relating to such technologies. This first-ever investigation involved a number of cutting-edge, unsettled legal issues and was initiated by the FTC after a hacker was able to access the cloud storage account of the app developers. The FTC examined whether the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and/or Section 5 of the FTC Act had been violated. Drawing upon sophisticated knowledge of applicable advertising regulations, data privacy laws and FTC enforcement policy, the firm was able to successfully develop and implement a multi-faceted CID investigation defense strategy while productively liaising with a data security vulnerability penetration expert. As a result of these efforts, coupled with persuasive defense advocacy, this complex, highly-publicized investigation resulted in a non-monetary administrative settlement that avoided the initiation of federal court enforcement proceedings.
  • Represented a lead aggregator in conjunction with a Civil Investigative Demand issued by the Federal Trade Commission examining deceptive and unfair acts or practices in the advertising, marketing, sale or servicing of products. The FTC was also investigating whether brokers, servicers and other marketers of  products and services had engaged in acts or practices in violation of other federal legislation designed to protect consumers. The firm successfully secured the prompt closure of the investigation.
  • Represented an online lead generator in conjunction with a Civil Investigative Demand issued by the Federal Trade Commission examining deceptive and unfair acts or practices in the advertising, marketing, sale or servicing of products. The FTC was also investigating whether consumer  brokers, servicers and the other marketers of products and services had engaged in acts or practices in violation of the MARS Rule, 12 U.S.C. § 5538, and other federal legislation designed to protect consumers. The firm successfully secured the prompt closure of the investigation.
  • Represented a leading software development academy in conjunction with a Civil Investigative Demand issued by the Federal Trade Commission examining deceptive and unfair acts or practices in the advertising, marketing or sale of secondary or post-secondary education products or services, or educational accreditation products or services in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act. The firm successful secured the prompt closure of the investigation.
  • Represented leading industrial tool manufacturer in conjunction with an investigation initiated by the Federal Trade Commission examining the marking, advertising, labeling and other promotional activities relating to the use of unqualified domestic origin claims for products. The purpose of the investigation was to determine whether the company was engaged in unfair or deceptive acts or practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act and the FTC’s enforcement policy with respect to the use of “Made in USA” claims in advertising and labeling. The firm worked with the client to implement a remedial action plan to update and qualify its representations and ensure that the company did not overstate the extent to which its products are made in the United States. As a result, the firm successfully secured the prompt closure of the investigation.
  • Represented owner of company in conjunction with a Civil Investigative Demand issued by the Federal Trade Commission examining alleged false and unsubstantiated representations about the health-related benefits of dietary supplements in violation of Sections 5 and 12 of the FTC Act. The firm worked closely with the client and a scientific expert to critically assess the physiological properties of product ingredients, as well as the nature and degree of data in the client’s possession prior to dissemination of claims, in order to construct persuasive legal arguments regarding a reasonable basis for advertising claims. As a result of these efforts, in addition to the persuasive utilization of cutting-edge legal precedent limiting the FTC’s judicial enforcement authority, the firm successfully resolved the matter without the initiation of litigation enforcement proceedings.
  • Represented individual and corporate defendants in a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit alleging approximately $9M in consumer harm as a result of a purported products and services scam through Internet websites, telemarketing, and unsolicited emails and text messages. The FTC was prosecuting what it alleged to be deceptive acts or practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule (16 C.F.R. Part 310), the Consumer Review Fairness Act (15 U.S.C. § 45b) and other federal legislation designed to protect consumers. The firm successfully negotiated favorable settlement terms of nominal monetary value without protracted litigation, a finding of liability or any admission of culpability, premised upon the truthfulness of defendants’ financial information.
  • Represented data broker defendants in a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit alleging in excess of $4M in consumer harm as a result of the purported collection of sensitive consumer data submitted by consumers to lead generation websites and the distribution thereof to unanticipated third-parties that, in turn: (i) utilized the information to withdraw millions of dollars from consumers’ accounts without their authorization; and (ii) conducted unauthorized marketing activities by email, text message and telephone calls. The firm successfully negotiated favorable settlement terms without any admission of culpability, premised upon the truthfulness of defendants’ financial information.
  • Represented an affiliate marketer defendant in a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit prosecuting what the FTC described as deceptive acts or practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act and the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act, in connection with the marketing and sale of monitoring services. In doing so, the FTC alleged that defendant lured consumers with fake rental property ads and deceptive promises of “free” reports. The firm successfully negotiated extremely favorable settlement terms, including reduced compliance reporting and recordkeeping obligations, without protracted litigation or a finding of liability. Defendant paid only a small proportion of the damages alleged by the FTC and that an affiliate marketer co-defendant was ordered to pay, premised upon the truthfulness of submitted financial information.
  • Represented online lead generators in a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit wherein the Commission sought millions of dollars in damages as a result of what the FTC described as fake blogs, fake news websites, fake testimonials, the failure to disclose material connections and bogus free trial offers in conjunction with selling Acai berry weight loss products. The firm successfully negotiated extremely favorable settlement terms without any finding of liability. Defendants paid only a small proportion of the damages that their network co-defendants were ordered to pay and an even smaller fraction of the damages sought by the FTC, premised upon the truthfulness of their financial information.
  • Represented defendants in a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit prosecuting what the FTC described as deceptive acts or practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act in connection with the marketing and sale of document preparation services. The FTC alleged that defendants falsely claimed to be affiliated with the Department of Education and charged consumers illegal fees. The firm successfully negotiated extremely favorable settlement terms, including retention of funds, and reduced compliance reporting and recordkeeping obligations, without protracted litigation or a finding of liability. Defendants paid only a small proportion of the damages alleged by the FTC, premised upon the truthfulness of submitted financial information.
  • Represented individual and corporate defendants in a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit alleging approximately $3M in consumer harm as a result of a purported products and services scam. The FTC was prosecuting what it alleged to be deceptive and abusive collection practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act and other federal legislation designed to protect consumers. The firm successfully negotiated favorable settlement terms of nominal monetary value without protracted litigation, a finding of liability or any admission of culpability, premised upon the truthfulness of defendants’ financial information.
  • Represented affiliate marketers in conjunction with a Civil Investigative Demand issued by the Federal Trade Commission examining false and misleading representations about certification programs, as well as the failure to clearly and conspicuously disclose material connections within purported independent websites. The firm successfully negotiated favorable settlement terms of nominal monetary value without any finding of liability, premised upon the truthfulness of respondents’ financial information.  The firm also successfully negotiated the exclusion of additional specific instances of alleged unlawful advertising conduct.
  • Represented affiliate marketers in conjunction with a Civil Investigative Demand issued by the Federal Trade Commission examining false and misleading representations in conjunction with an alleged Internet business coaching scheme that purported resulted in more than $125M in consumer harm. The firm assisted the individual client regarding invocation of the 5th Amendment privilege and successfully negotiated favorable settlement terms of nominal monetary value without any finding of liability, premised upon the truthfulness of the individual client’s financial information.
  • Represented affiliate marketers in conjunction with investigations by the Florida Attorney General into the promotion of weight loss and automobile insurance products/services. The firm successfully negotiated extremely favorable settlements where respondents paid only a nominal proportion of the damages alleged by the FL OAG. Both matters were resolved promptly and quietly, without any resulting litigation or admission of culpability.
  • Represented a pay-per-call network in conjunction with a subpoena issued by the Illinois Attorney General. Specifically, the investigation focused upon potential violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act by various third-party publishers pertaining to the advertising, soliciting and generation of leads. The firm successfully secured the prompt closure of the investigation.
  • Represented online marketers in a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit prosecuting what the FTC described as deceptive acts or practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act, in connection with the marketing and sale of academic degree and certification programs. In doing so, the FTC alleged that defendants misled consumers about their association with recognized high school equivalency programs through the use of deceptive metatags and website names designed to look like legitimate online high schools. The firm successfully negotiated extremely favorable settlement terms without protracted litigation or a finding of liability. Defendants paid only a small proportion of the damages alleged by the FTC, premised upon the truthfulness of their financial information.
  • Represented a corporate officer defendant in a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit prosecuting what the FTC described as deceptive acts or practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act and the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act, in connection with the marketing and sale of personal care product trial offers. The firm successfully petitioned the court to modify a broad-sweeping asset freeze and allow distributions for personal living expenses and to fully-satisfy outstanding obligations. The firm also successfully negotiated extremely favorable settlement terms without protracted litigation or a finding of liability. Defendant paid only a small proportion of the damages alleged by the FTC, premised upon the truthfulness of financial disclosures.
  • Represented a telemarketer in a Utah Division of Consumer Protection investigation regarding alleged violations of the Utah Consumer Sales Practices Act and the Telephone Fraud Prevention Act. The Utah DCP was focused upon whether consumers were contacted to make telephone solicitations while the telemarketers were not registered as a telephone soliciting business, whether the telemarketers informed consumers of the right to cancel and whether the telemarketers failed to furnish services after receipt of payment. The matter was resolved amicably and the investigation promptly closed after payment of an extremely nominal sum by respondent.
  • Represented an email marketing company in an investigation by the New York Attorney General relating to alleged violations of the CAN-SPAM Act. The New York OAG was focused upon the company’s email marketing practices, related compliance considerations and third-party lead generation relationships.
  • Represented an individual in conjunction with a subpoena issued by the Federal Trade Commission pertaining to a pending lawsuit alleging deceptive chain referral schemes involving cryptocurrencies. The FTC sought verbal testimony and documentation from the client. The firm successfully defended the subpoena without the client having to provide either. The matter was closed with no further inquiry or action.
  • Represented an affiliate marketing network in conjunction with a subpoena issued by the United States Attorney’s Office regarding fraudulent “tech support” advertising campaigns. Specifically, the investigation focused upon alleged misrepresentations of affiliation with Microsoft, spoofed caller IDs, and the detection of viruses or other malware. The matter was concluded successfully with no further inquiry or action.

Please contact us at (212) 756-8777, via email to [email protected] or via our Online Case Submission Form.    

Please contact us at (212) 756-8777, via email to [email protected] or via our Online Case Submission Form.    

Scroll To Top