The FTC May Up Its Enforcement Of ‘Made In The USA’ Claims

The Federal Trade Commission’s “Made In The USA” guidelines ask that marketers have a “reasonable basis” for claiming products are made in the U.S. The policy does not constitute a federal regulation, however, and that has critics pushing the FTC to add some teeth to the directive.

Truth In Advertising, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting consumers from false advertising and deceptive marketing, has petitioned the FTC to prohibit the use of “Made In The USA” or “Made In America” claims when product fails to meet the legal made-in-the-USA standard.

In submitting its petition, Truth In Advertising wrote, “Businesses that can legitimately claim their products are made in the USA have a distinct advantage over competitors selling foreign-made goods. Such claims add value to products because consumers perceive American-made goods to be of a higher quality and purchasing them makes consumers feel patriotic. Unsurprisingly then, many companies want to affix an American-made designation to their products. Those who do so deceptively not only reduce the value of made-in-the-USA claims, impeding the ability of American-made businesses to compete, but also negatively impact consumers.”

A recent edition of Ad Age’s Marketer’s Brief podcast features an interview with ad lawyer Jeff Greenbaum, managing partner at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, on efforts to push the FTC to action on made-in-the-USA claims. Click here to listen.

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