Christopher A. Cole, Partner Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2701
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20004-2595

Christopher Cole is the co-chair of Crowell & Moring's Advertising & Product Risk Management Group in the Washington, D.C. office, which was named as a Law360 Practice Group of the Year for Consumer Protection in 2013.

Chris practices complex commercial litigation and is well-known for defending companies accused of false advertising and deceptive or unfair trade practices. He handles investigations and litigation before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other agencies. And, he has successfully resolved dozens of matters before the National Advertising Division (NAD) and the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), where he has achieved some of the most notable results for his clients in that forum over the last decade. As part of his work for advertisers, Chris regularly advises regarding the development, substantiation, approval, and defense of advertising campaigns. Chris also handles many other types of cases, including consumer class actions, unfair competition, intellectual property, commercial litigation, and government enforcement proceedings.

Chris's clients include some of the world's leading companies in industries such as food and beverages, media and telecommunications, and consumer products. He frequently represents companies that have difficult product development, reputational, and marketing concerns that require multifaceted regulatory or litigation solutions.

Chris has been ranked among the top false advertising litigators in the country for many years by Chambers & Partners, which has in various editions quoted clients who have described him as a "superstar," "incredibly responsive," "outstanding," "cost-conscious," "hard-working," and have said that he "gets to the heart of the concept quickly and understands the advertising motivation in relation to the law." 

He is a vice-chair of the American Bar Association's Section of Antitrust Committee on Advertising Disputes and Litigation and an editor of the ABA's major treatise on Consumer Protection Law and Developments.

Representative Matters

  • Represent AT&T in a variety of advertising matters such as an NAD challenge to competitor's advertising campaign that disparaged the client's service as slow, outdated, and incapable of meeting the needs of modern households, and litigation that successfully put a stop to a competitor's campaign that suggested subscribers would have to install huge, ugly cable boxes in their yards in order to obtain service.
  • Successfully defended Zero Technologies, an upstart water pitcher filtration maker against simultaneous NAD and false advertising litigation cases, as well as in subsequent NAD and NARB challenges.
  • Obtained broad recommendations from NAD on behalf of international television set manufacturer, resulting in competitor discontinuing campaign claiming sweeping superiority in 3D picture quality. 
  • On behalf of MillerCoors, obtained an injunction that put a stop to a disparaging advertising campaign by Anheuser-Busch.
  • Successfully defended Dyson against false advertising litigation by Hoover that sought a stop to its most iconic advertising claims.
  • Represent a major consumer products company in coordinated response to Federal Trade Commission investigation and related class action litigation.
  • Represent a major Internet company in response to FTC inquiries relating to its popular products.
  • Provide comprehensive marketing, advertising and regulatory counsel service to a major consumer products and personal care products manufacturer, across all of its product lines.


Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, Massachusetts (inactive), U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Eastern District of Wisconsin, and U.S. Courts of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Federal Circuit, and Court of Veterans Benefits Claims


Past Chair and General Counsel, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)
Vice Chair, ABA Antitrust Section, Committee on Private Advertising Litigation
Editor, ABA Treatise on Consumer Protection Law and Developments

Speeches & Presentations

  • "Navigating the Lanham Act Litigation Frontier—Determining When to Bring Claims; Fighting for an Injunction; Obtaining Proper Relief," ACI's Advertising Disputes Conference, New York, NY (November 11, 2014). Presenter: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "Brands in Battle: Comparative Advertising Key Cases," Brand Activation Association 36th Annual Marketing Law Conference, Chicago, IL (November 6, 2014). Presenter: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "Key Issues in Advertising and Marketing in the Healthcare Industry," Crowell & Moring's Healthcare Ounce Of Prevention Seminar (HOOPS), Washington, D.C. (October 27-28, 2014). Presenters: Christopher A. Cole and David Ervin.
  • "Advertising Practices: Social Media, Endorsements & Overstock," 2014 Retail Law Conference, Charlotte, NC (October 15-17, 2014). Presenters: Cheryl A. Falvey, Christopher A. Cole, and David Ervin.
  • "Show and Tell: What Message Does Your Product Demonstration Convey?" What's New in Advertising Law, Claim Support & Self-Regulation? NAD Annual Conference 2014, New York, NY (September 29-30, 2014). Moderator: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "Performance Sportswear Testing & Risk in Advertising," SFIA Legal Task Force Thought Leadership Webinar, Silver Spring, MD (September 11, 2014). Panelist: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "Private Lawsuits Against False Advertising," IV International Forum of Consumer Protection – Advertising and Law (August 26-27, 2014). Presenter: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "Retail Privacy and Cybersecurity Seminar: How to Avoid Making the Headlines," Crowell & Moring Seminar (May 15, 2014). Presenters: Robin B. Campbell, Christopher A. Cole, Jeffrey L. Poston, and Evan D. Wolff.
  • "The Gathering Data Security Storm: Is the Government Helping?" 2014 ANA Advertising Law & Public Policy Conference, Washington, D.C. (April 23-24, 2014). Presenter: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "What's in a Claim? Principles and Requirements of Claim Substantiation," 35th Annual BAA/PMA Marketing Law Conference, Chicago, Illinois (November 18-20, 2013). Panelist: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "September Consumer Protection Update," ABA Section of Antitrust Law, Consumer Protection, Private Advertising Litigation, Privacy and Information Security, and Corporate Counseling Committees Webinar (September 20, 2013). Panelists: Christopher A. Cole, Cheryl A. Falvey, and Michael L. Kuppersmith.
  • "Sustainable 'Green Advertising': Implications of FTC's Guidelines for Public, Private, and Self-Regulation," WLF Web Seminar (February 21, 2013). Presenters: Christopher A. Cole and Natalia R. Medley
  • "Consumer Protection and What Obama's 2nd Term Means to Your Business (Including Advertising; Data/Privacy Protection; Product Safety & More)," Association of Corporate Counsel San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, San Francisco and Palo Alto, CA (February 12-13, 2013). Presenters: Bridget E. Calhoun; Christopher A. Cole; Cheryl A. Falvey; John Fuson.


Client Alerts & Newsletters

In the News

  • FTC, Private Sector Lock Horns Over Consumer Data Protection
    February 25, 2015 — E-Commerce Times

    Washington, D.C.-based partner and co-chair of the firm's Advertising & Product Risk Management Group, Christopher A. Cole, speaks to E-Commerce Times regarding recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) data breaches. In the case of FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide, Wyndham is charged with violating the FTC Act by claims their privacy policy misrepresented the security measures the company had in place with a failure to safeguard personal information. Wyndham is fighting back, arguing the fundamental legal authorities the FTC relies on to protect consumer privacy. One of these authorities is the 'unfair practice' provision of the FTC Act which Cole says is an issue "that has ramifications far beyond data security, and it would be a major blow to the FTC if the court placed significant constraints on the FTC here."

  • Consumer Protection Regulation To Watch In 2014
    January 1, 2014 — Consumer Protection Law360

    Cheryl A. Falvey and Christopher A. Cole, co-chairs of Crowell & Moring's Advertising & Product Risk Management Group, spoke with Consumer Protection Law360 about the regulations to watch in 2014. They discussed the areas of debt collection reform, financial advertising, and data security and the "Internet of Things."

  • At Crowell, A Different Type of Legal Advertising
    September 8, 2013 — Washington Post

    Advertising & Product Risk Management (APRM) Group partners and Group co-chairs Chris Cole and Cheri Falvey are profiled in the Washington Post's Capital Business section for their leadership and growth of the practice. The article highlights the strengths they each bring to the firm, and the unique ability of the APRM Group; "Now the group advises on the entire life cycle of consumer products, from their creation to safety testing, advertising campaigns, product recalls and designing consumer tests to back up marketing claims — which is almost like a science," Cole states. Additionally, Falvey highlights, "part of the reason she joined Crowell was because the firm's leaders understood that the science that must be conducted to back up marketing claims is the same science that federal regulators look at when evaluating the safety of products."

  • Conferences: Planning, Coordination, Consistency Urged In Talks Geared to Business and Its Counsel
    March 25, 2013 — Bloomberg BNA Product Safety & Liability Reporter

    Crowell & Moring LLP's second annual Advertising & Product Risk Management seminar is featured in Bloomberg BNA Product Safety & Liability Reporter in a piece titled, "Planning, Coordination, Consistency Urged In Talks Geared to Business and Its Counsel." According to the piece, "A holistic approach to risk management, integrating legal and business concerns, works best for companies throughout the life cycle of their products."

Firm News & Announcements

Jan.13.2015 Crowell & Moring Releases Third Annual Litigation Forecast Report and Inaugural Regulatory Forecast
Sep.30.2014 Super Lawyers 2014 Recognizes 90 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
Aug.28.2014 The Best Lawyers In America 2015 Recognizes 40 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
May.23.2014 Chambers USA Ranks 51 Crowell & Moring Attorneys and 19 Leading Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
Jan.31.2014 Crowell & Moring Among Law360's "Practice Groups of the Year" for Competition, Consumer Protection, and Government Contracts
Sep.03.2013 The Best Lawyers In America 2014 Recognizes 41 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
Sep.01.2013 Super Lawyers 2013 Recognizes 64 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
May.24.2013 Chambers USA Ranks 45 Crowell & Moring Attorneys and 19 Leading Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
Mar.11.2013 Crowell & Moring Advertising & Product Risk Management Annual Seminar to Feature Industry Leaders and Key Government Officials
Dec.12.2012 Crowell & Moring Gains Prominent False Advertising Litigation Partner Chris Cole
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