Advertising & Product Risk Management
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Crowell & Moring's Advertising & Product Risk Management (APRM) Group offers a unique, multidisciplinary approach to businesses in identifying and managing the legal risks of advertising, marketing, distribution, and sale of their products and services. Our lawyers and policy professionals help clients navigate the complex legal and regulatory regimes, both domestically and internationally, applicable to the design and promotion of their products and services as clients develop strategies to grow their businesses. The APRM Group assists clients in taking innovative and proactive measures to protect their business from the array of challenges before them, from regulatory investigations and tort litigation to false and unsubstantiated claims by competitors. Clients report that our practice is one of a kind in its holistic, innovative, business-oriented, and end-to-end approach to risk management and mitigation.

Who we are. Our group consists of more than 40 lawyers and policy professionals from our offices across the United States as well as in Europe, and is led by former high-level government officials and nationally recognized prominent litigators in advertising litigation and consumer protection. We were most recently selected to Law360's "Consumer Protection Practice Groups of the Year" listing, which describes our practice as helping "clients distinguish their products in a hectic, overcrowded market."

What we do. We help clients develop legal strategies that support business growth and minimize risk in a highly competitive and complex environment. We work with clients to address regulatory investigations and litigation relating to product liability, false advertising, and intellectual property. We advise on advertising campaigns, promotions, transactions, IP, and marketing strategies that help maximize brand value, while reducing legal risks. Our practice is one of a kind in its holistic, innovative, practical, business-oriented, and end-to-end approach to risk management and mitigation.

Our team leverages deep knowledge in the wide range of legal fields this work requires, including:

  • government investigation and enforcement
  • advertising counseling and litigation
  • product liability litigation
  • consumer class action defense
  • risk counseling
  • reputation and crisis management
  • sourcing, supply chain, distribution, and recall management
  • product safety
  • privacy and data protection
  • import/export
  • chemicals and environmental
  • sweepstakes and promotions
  • warranty
  • trademark and intellectual property

This enables us to handle the full range of commercial and regulatory legal issues facing our clients in a comprehensive and integrated approach focused on mitigating risk.

Experience before government agencies. We regularly appear before regulatory authorities such as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Customs and Borders Protection (CBP), the Occupational Safety and Health Safety Administration (OSHA), state attorneys general and regulatory agencies, Health Canada, Transport Canada, and the European Commission. We have a track record of successfully prosecuting and defending competitor Lanham Act advertising cases in federal court as well as competitor advertising challenges before the National Advertising Division (the advertising industry's independent review board in the United States), litigating federal and state consumer protection and product safety enforcement matters, defending federal and state consumer class action litigation, and counseling on product recall issues.

Lifecycle management. Our Group works with companies across a wide range of industries that market and sell products and services, including manufacturing, consumer products, food and beverage, telecommunications and media, and retail. We guide our clients as products and services are first conceived in design and in how best to market their innovations. We help our clients prepare for and address issues that may arise through the manufacturing of their products, distribution, and, ultimately, delivery to the end user. We work with clients to maximize the value of their products and services, as well as their brands at every step of the lifecycle and distribution chain, and to minimize unpleasant surprises, whether from litigation, adverse regulatory action, or damage to brand reputation.

Product and service experience. We have represented some of the nation's leading companies in categories where the most narrow market share advantage is a battleground, including:

  • alcoholic beverages
  • airplane and helicopter parts
  • airlines
  • automobiles and auto parts
  • appliances, household and industrial
  • aviation and drones for advertising use
  • building and construction materials
  • chemicals
  • children's products
  • cleaning products
  • cookware
  • cosmetics
  • dietary supplements
  • diapers, tampons, and paper products
  • filters for air and water
  • food and beverages
  • home furnishings and accessories
  • hospitality
  • housewares
  • herbicides and insecticides
  • HVAC and refrigeration units
  • medical devices
  • mobile devices and handsets
  • office supplies
  • paints and thinners
  • paper products
  • personal care products
  • pet supplies
  • protective equipment
  • software
  • safety equipment
  • sports equipment
  • televisions, computers, printers and electronics
  • telecommunications services
  • textiles
  • toys

OUR APPROACH

Work as a team to address the full lifecycle of our clients' innovations. We work as a team, bringing the best and most relevant talent to the multifaceted challenges faced by your business. We hope to be in it for the long haul with you. So we encourage clients to get to know all of our lawyers and to feel comfortable with the team.

We partner with clients to develop comprehensive risk evaluation and early warning systems to reduce lifecycle costs for existing and new business ventures. Our experience, and the experiences of our clients, confirm that well-structured, front-end investment in these systems consistently produce significant cost savings and the avoidance of lawsuits and claims over the life of the products and services our clients create, sell, and support. When challenges are lodged, our clients are better prepared to defend them. We team clients with our experienced advertising and tort litigators and trial lawyers, as well as regulatory and prevention counselors, to develop programs and processes that envision how government regulators, courts, and opposing counsel may characterize events months or years in the future.

Embrace regulatory authorities. Our clients do not run and hide from regulatory agencies or from tort or regulatory legal requirements. Instead, they build good will and trust with agency officials over time. Crowell & Moring regularly helps our clients meet regulatory authorities and come to know them. Over and over, as other regulated entities suffer fallout from "run and hide" strategies, our clients build on the trust they have developed to avoid or mitigate adverse agency action.

"Become" our clients. We work intensely to build knowledge and understanding of our clients' products, industries, corporate philosophies, business goals, and strategies, then tailor our legal advice and representation to our client's needs and personality. We often come to serve as their institutional memory when it comes to developing new areas of business and evaluating a business idea's legal history and track record.

Understand, then achieve, victory. We learn early how our clients define "victory" in the potential outcome of their legal challenges and direct our counseling, litigation, and regulatory efforts to achieve that goal. We don't grandstand or pound our fists on tables for show. Our approach is tenacious, hardworking and detail-oriented. We dig deep into the facts and science to unlock issues and strategies for success.

Add value, not just bill time. We help you manage legal costs through application of the latest project management technology in order to stay on track and on budget, to staff and run matters efficiently and cost effectively. But, we also add continual value by watching out for your issues, business and legal team. We provide regular alerts and reports, and offer complimentary training programs on legal issues, so that you can stay on top of legal developments affecting your business. We invite you to participate with us at events and conferences, helping contribute to thought leadership and creating opportunities to make connections and build goodwill for your business.