A department of the Federal Trade Commission is the Bureau of Consumer Protection, and its “mandate is to protect consumers against unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices.” There are six division of the Bureau of Consumer Protection as follows:
Division of Advertising Practices: Consumers are protected from deceptive or unsubstantiated advertising. The focus is on advertising of the following products: tobacco and alcohol, food and over-the-counter drugs, energy-related products, environmental products, and infomercials.
Division of Enforcement: Consumers are protected by enforcing compliance with court orders in consumer protection cases, investigating and prosecuting civil actions to stop fraudulent, unfair, or deceptive marketing and advertising practices, and enforcing consumer protection laws.
The Division of Financial Practices: Many consumer credit statutes are enforced including the Consumer Leasing Act, the Credit Practices Rule, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and the Fair Credit Billing Act. The text of these laws can be found on the Federal Trade Commission’s website http://www.ftc.gov.
The Division of Marketing Practices: Enforces federal consumer protection laws by filing legal actions to stop scams and help victims of scams
The Division of Planning and Information: Measures the impact of FTC activities to protect consumers, including the Identity Theft Program.
The Office of Consumer and Business Education: Establishes public education programs for consumers and industry about fraud, deception, and unfair practices using print, broadcast, and electronic media.
It would be prudent for you or your attorney to visit the FTC’s website, read the regulations, and set up systems to be sure you are in and stay in compliance. If the FTC determines that you are violating any of its regulations, it has the authority to seize your assets pending investigation. If the FTC gets a court judgment against you, the fines are significant and the FTC could shut down your business.
About the author
Jo Ann Joy is the CEO and owner of Indigo Business Solutions, a legal and business consulting firm. Indigo Business Solutions is a “one stop shop” for small businesses. We differ from other business consulting firms, because we offer comprehensive legal and business counseling. We can offer most of the professional services that a business requires. We work with our clients to develop strategies that create value and competitive advantage. Our goal is your success.
Jo Ann has a law degree, an MBA, and a degree in Economics, but she is not a traditional attorney. Rather, she is a strategic business attorney who works closely with clients to create and implement strategies that will greatly improve their performance and chance of success. Her background includes commercial and real estate law, accounting, financial planning, mortgages, marketing, product development, banking, and business strategies. She ran a successful business for 10 years, and she has written and given presentations on many different legal and business subjects.