Christopher A. Cole

Partner
Washington, D.C.
ccole@crowell.com
Phone: +1 202.624.2701
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

Christopher Cole is a co-chair of Crowell & Moring's Technology & Brand Protection Group, a team that provides interdisciplinary solutions to companies facing challenging competitive and regulatory issues. Chris focuses on false advertising litigation, unfair competition, reputation, brand disparagement, and intellectual property. He is an experienced litigator, handling Lanham Act and consumer class action cases, and defending against Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforcement and related investigations. He has handled dozens of cases before the National Advertising Division (NAD). 

For nearly a decade, Chris been ranked among the top false advertising litigators in the country by Chambers & Partners, which describes him as a “terrific business partner,” “an exceptional lawyer,” and "a huge leader at the Bar in terms of advertising [who] can connect what is important to companies with understanding their limitations." Chris has also been recognized for his “ability to understand the scientific side of advertising cases.”

Chris's recognitions also include Legal 500 for Advertising and Marketing Litigation and Transactions, SuperLawyers for Media and First Amendment lawyers in Washington, D.C., and Best Lawyers in America for Advertising Law.

Chris also has a varied and active counseling practice. He is widely respected as an authority on advertising claims substantiation and the associated sciences of product testing and consumer research. He has overseen consumer protection regulatory due diligence in transactions. And, he provides strategic and risk management guidance to some of the world's leading companies in industries such as food and beverages, media and telecommunications, home appliances, technology, and consumer products.

Chris is an editor of the ABA's major treatise on Consumer Protection Law and Developments, author of the chapter on “Claims Substantiation” in the ABA’s Advertising Claims Substantiation Handbook, and is a frequent speaker and commentator on advertising issues.

Representative Matters

  • Antitrust/Consumer Protection. Worked with trial team as the lead AT&T lawyer on consumer survey and measurement issues in the landmark United States v. AT&T, Inc., et al., litigation by the U.S. government to enjoin AT&T’s merger with Time WarnerIn a lengthy section of its opinion, the court relied on the work by Chris and his experienced team in rejecting the opinions of the government’s key consumer survey and media valuation experts, which were key underpinnings to the government’s model of economic injury.
  • Class ActionsDefending consumer class action and similar lawsuits brought against major advertisers nationwide, including in California, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New York and Washington, DC.
  • FTC Investigations. Representing major advertisers in conjunction with both ongoing and successfully closed investigations and litigation by the FTC in the areas of telecommunications, beverages, consumer products, and technology.
  • NAD/NARB. Handled over 50 NAD and NARB matters in just the last five years for clients such as AT&T, Boehringer-Ingleheim, DIRECTV, Kimberly-Clark, S.C. Johnson, Scotts Company, Intuit, Molson Coors, Honeywell, Whirlpool, and Walmart. 
  • Lanham Act. Lead counsel in numerous Lanham Act false advertising cases, many involving applications for emergency relief, on behalf of clients such as AT&T, Expedia, Edgewell, Molson Coors, Scotts, 3M, Dyson, and Kimberly-Clark. Co-lead attorney representing Molson Coors in its false advertising case against Anheuser-Busch, arising out of Anheuser’s 2019 Super Bowl campaign in which it attacked Miller Lite and Coors Light for using corn syrup.
  • Counseling and risk management. Chris serves as outside counsel to various Fortune 500 companies, providing and coordinating through Crowell & Moring and a network of global firms, worldwide advice in areas of product regulation, advertising, ESG, competition and risk mitigation.


Affiliations

Admitted to practice: District of Columbia

Memberships

Chair, ABA Antitrust Section, Committee on Private Advertising Litigation
Chapter Editor, ABA Treatise on Consumer Protection Law and Developments
Chapter Author, ABA Advertising Claims Substantiation Handbook



Highlights, News & Knowledge


Speeches & Presentations

  • "Federal Consumer Protection Turns Blue," Crowell & Moring Webinar (February 24, 2021). Presenters: Lauren Aronson, Christopher A. Cole, Kristin J. Madigan, and Holly A. Melton.
  • "Defending Your Claims: Lessons Learned from Recent Advertising Claims Class Actions," American Conference Institute's 4th ANnual Forum on Advertising Claims Substantiation (February 4, 2021). Speaker: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "Who is Watching the Ads? The Biggest Mistakes Advertisers Make that Trigger Investigations," Our Curious Amalgam Podcast (October 21, 2019). Speaker: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "An Update from NAD and NARB," ABA Teleconference (July 18, 2019). Moderator: Christopher A. Cole.
  • “Consumer Financial Protection Enforcement Under Trump,” 2019 ABA 67th Annual Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, Washington, D.C. (March 28, 2019). Moderator: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "US Advertising and Consumer Protection Update," Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, Toronto, ON (May 11, 2018). Presenter: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "Advertising Enforcement in North America: Not Just for Advertising Anymore?" Canadian Bar Association National Competition Law Conference, Toronto, ON (May 10, 2018). Speaker: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "Advertising Enforcement in North America: Not Just for Advertising Anymore?" CBA Competition Law Spring Conference, Toronto, ON (May 10, 2018). Panelist: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "Hot Topics in Tech Advertising," NAD & CARU West Coast Conference, San Francisco, CA (May 1, 2018). Speaker: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "Advertising Claims Support: Case Histories and Principles," White Sulphur Springs, WV (April 17-19, 2018). Speakers: Christopher A. Cole and Lauren Aronson.
  • "Dieselgate: Strategies for Managing Multijurisdiction Consumer Protection Investigations," ABA Section of Antitrust Spring Meeting, Washington, D.C. (April 12, 2018). Speaker: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "Private Labels and Fake News," Grocery Manufacturer’s Association Law Conference, New Orleans, LA (February 28, 2018). Speaker: Christopher A. Cole.
  • “Put it to the Test: Evaluating the Degree of Substantiation Necessary to Back Your Claim,” ACI - Advertising Claims Substantiation Boot Camp, New York, NY (January 25, 2018). Presenter: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "The Private Label Revolution," 2017 ANA/BAA Marketing Law Conference, Chicago, IL (November 13, 2017). Panelists: Christopher A. Cole and Ryan C. Tisch.
  • ”Managing Advertising Liability for Technology Products,” 29th Annual All Hands Meeting 2017, Santa Clara, CA (October 18, 2017). Presenters: Michelle Gillette and Christopher A. Cole.
  • 2017 Advertising Claims Support: Case Histories and Principles, White Sulphur Springs, WV (April 18, 2017). Presenters: Christopher A. Cole and Lauren Aronson.
  • "Advertising Mock Trial: False, Misleading or Deceptive?" ABA-Antitrust Law 2017 Spring Meeting, Washington, D.C. (March 28, 2017). Presenter: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "Roundtable Discussion on Marketing and Advertising Law," GMA 2017 Legal Conference, San Diego, CA (February 27, 2017). Presenter: Christopher A. Cole.
  • Co-Chair, ABA Antitrust Section Consumer Protection Conference (2017).
  • "Claims Substantiation in Novel and Evolving Technologies," 2017 Consumer Protection Conference, Atlanta, GA (February 2, 2017). Presenter: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "Advertising and Marketing Issues in 2017 and Beyond," Association of Corporate Counsel SoCal Chapter In-House Counsel Conference, Anaheim, CA (January 26, 2017). Presenters: Christopher A. Cole and Josh Thomas Foust.
  • "Consumer Protection 2.0," Crowell & Moring Webinar (January 5, 2017). Presenters: Christopher A. Cole, Peter B. Miller, and Kristin J. Madigan.
  • "Consumer Protection Enforcement Activities and Compliance Strategies," LSI's 25th Annual Seattle Conference on Technology Law, Seattle, WA (December 2, 2016). Presenters: Christopher A. Cole and Kristin J. Madigan.
  • “Developing Aggressive Marketing Campaigns in a Hyper-Risk World,” 2016 ANA/BAA Marketing Law Conference, Chicago, IL (November 10, 2016). Moderator: Christopher A. Cole.
  • Co-Chair, 2016 BAA Annual Law Conference, and Moderator “Advertising Strategies in a Hyper-Risk World.”
  • "NAD, NARB & Advertising Self-Regulation: The ABA Report: One Year Later," National Advertising Division Conference 2016, New York, NY (September 27, 2016). Presenter: Christopher A. Cole.
  • Speaker. 2016 NAD Annual Law Conference, “The ABA Report, One Year Later.”
  • "Avoiding Pitfalls When Making Food and Consumer Product Claims," GMA Science Forum, Washington, D.C. (April 18, 2016). Presenter: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "Risky Business: The Boom in Advertising Enforcement," ABA – 64th Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, Washington, D.C. (April 7, 2016). Moderator: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "Advertising Law," GMA Legal Conference, Rancho Mirage, CA (February 24, 2016). Presenter: Christopher A. Cole.
  • "Marketing Solar Energy to Retail Customers: Advertising Claims and SEIA’s Solar Business Code," Webinar (January 12, 2016). Presenters: Christopher A. Cole, Richard Lehfeldt and Peter B. Miller.


Publications



Client Alerts & Newsletters



Media Mentions



Firm News & Announcements

Aug.19.2021

The Best Lawyers in America 2022 Recognizes 53 Crowell & Moring Attorneys, One Selected as Lawyer of the Year

Jun.14.2021 Legal 500 United States Ranks Crowell & Moring in Six Practice Areas in 2021 Guide
May.20.2021 Chambers USA 2021 Ranks 63 Crowell & Moring Lawyers and 30 Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
Mar.15.2021 Crowell & Moring Establishes Global Environmental, Social, and Governance Advisory Team
Aug.20.2020 The Best Lawyers in America 2021 Recognizes 46 Crowell & Moring Attorneys, Two Selected as Lawyer of the Year
Jul.20.2020 Legal 500 United States Ranks Crowell & Moring in Five Practice Areas in 2020 Guide
Apr.23.2020 Chambers USA 2020 Ranks 53 Crowell & Moring Lawyers and 21 Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
Apr.10.2020 LITIGATION NOTE: Crowell & Moring Secures Win for Client Molson Coors’ Hard Seltzer Launch
Sep.20.2019 Super Lawyers Recognizes 82 Crowell & Moring Lawyers Across United States
Aug.16.2019 The Best Lawyers in America 2020 Recognizes 49 Crowell & Moring Attorneys, Three Selected as Lawyer of the Year
Apr.29.2019 Chambers USA 2019 Ranks 53 Crowell & Moring Lawyers and 21 Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
Feb.22.2019 Crowell & Moring's Antitrust Group Listed as "Highly Recommended" in Global Competition Review's 19th Annual "GCR 100"
Oct.15.2018 Super Lawyers Recognizes 82 Crowell & Moring Lawyers Across United States
Aug.15.2018 The Best Lawyers in America 2019 Recognizes 38 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
Jun.15.2018 Federal Judge Clears Way for AT&T-Time Warner Merger
May.09.2018 Chambers USA 2018 Ranks 52 Crowell & Moring Lawyers and 24 Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
Oct.31.2017 Super Lawyers Recognizes 79 Crowell & Moring Lawyers Across United States
Oct.31.2017 The Best Lawyers in America 2018 Recognizes 40 Crowell & Moring Lawyers
May.26.2017 Chambers USA 2017 Ranks 53 Crowell & Moring Lawyers and 23 Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
Nov.30.2016 Super Lawyers Recognizes 71 Crowell & Moring Lawyers Across United States
Aug.18.2016 The Best Lawyers in America 2017 Recognizes 38 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
May.27.2016 Chambers USA Ranks 56 Crowell & Moring Attorneys and 19 Leading Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
Oct.27.2015 Super Lawyers Recognizes 90 Crowell & Moring Attorneys