WBK Industry News - Litigation Developments

At FTC’s Request, District Court Imposes $8.9 Million Judgment on Operators of Newspaper Subscription Scheme

U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon recently issued an order that implemented a nationwide injunction against several corporate and individual defendants for their false and misleading newspaper and magazine subscription campaigns from 2010 to 2015.

The FTC’s 2016 Complaint alleged that the defendants, in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act, “engage[d] in a nationwide campaign that relie[d] on misrepresentations to solicit newspaper renewals and new subscriptions from consumers. Through mass mailings that look like subscription notices, [d]efendants represented that they [were] authorized by, or acting on behalf of, the publishers to obtain and renew subscriptions.”

In its order, the court imposed the following stipulations against the defendants:

  • Permanently banned from advertising or selling any goods or services by direct mail;
  • Prohibited from future misrepresentations in connection with the sale of goods and services;
  • Prevented from “[d]isclosing, using, or benefitting from customer information” obtained in connection with the subscription scheme; and
  • Imposed a monetary judgment of $8.9 million in favor of the FTC against the corporate and individual defendants.

The order also subjects the defendants to twenty years of compliance reporting, monitoring, and record-keeping requirements.