Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Consumer Protection Conference: Dana Rosenfeld

The ABA Antitrust Section’s Consumer Protection Conference is coming up: June 18-19 at Georgetown. It’s going to be focused on issues of consumer protection, and it’s got a great lineup at a time when we can expect renewed focus on consumer protection enforcement at the FTC. (Disclosure: I’m helping organize the conference.) I wanted to introduce some of our many qualified panelists.


Dana Rosenfeld, who will be moderating our timely panel on consumer protection in financial transactions, practices at Bryan Cave in the areas of consumer protection, privacy and data security, and advertising. She represents clients before the Federal Trade Commission and State Attorneys General, provides ongoing compliance advice, and assists in the development of legislative policy positions and self-regulatory and corporate responsibility programs. She served as the assistant director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection from August 1998 to October 2001. She played a major role in developing the FTC’s privacy initiatives, including the promulgation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act Privacy Rule.

I asked Ms. Rosenfeld some of the same questions I’ve asked prior interviewees:

Q: How did you get into advertising law?

I began my career at the FTC in 1991 and was immediately assigned to work on the agency’s investigations of weight loss companies, most of which were resolved by administrative consent orders. One matter involved a weight loss clinic in California. Because the company was engaging in fraudulent practices, we sought and obtained a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction, and the company eventually ceased operations.

Q: What emerging trends in advertising law should advertisers be watching?

New forms of media, such as blogs, networking sites, “buzz” or “word of mouth marketing” are creating new issues for advertisers and regulators. In addition, “green” or environmental advertising is on the rise. I would expect the FTC to start aggresively pursing law enforcement actions in these areas among others.

Q: What is your advice for a law student who wants to practice in the field? Given that most schools don’t teach advertising law, what are the best courses to take?

I would recommend taking classes in Administrative Law, Legislation, Federal Courts and First Amendment. These will give students the fundamentals needed to understand basic concepts in advertising. In addtion, I would highly recommend an internship at the FTC or Attorney General’s office, or with a consumer group.

No comments: