Christopher A. Cole

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

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


Recent Highlights, News & Knowledge

"5 Best Practices For Companies That Want To Do It Right," AdAge (January 21, 2022). Author: Christopher A. Cole. Publication
"California Recyclability Labeling Scrutiny Poised to Increase Retailers’ Liability Risk," Retail Law Alert (January 10, 2022). Contacts: Clayton S. Friedman, Michael Yaghi, Christopher A. Cole, Suzanne Trivette Client Alert / Newsletter
"ESG Survey: Environmental Performance and the Stakes for Your Business," Crowell & Moring Webinar (December 9, 2021). Speakers: John B. Brew, Christopher A. Cole, Elizabeth B. Dawson, Thomas De Meese, Thomas A. Lorenzen, and Preston L. Pugh. Speech/Presentation
"The Emerging Litigation Danger for Brands," 2021 ANA/BAA Marketing Law Conference, San Diego, CA (November 15 - 17, 2021). Speakers: Christopher A. Cole and Holly A. Melton. Speech/Presentation
Court Testimony Looms For Zuckerberg In Cambridge Analytica Case Bloomberg Law (October 25, 2021) Media Mentions
"Greenpeace Plastics Recyclability Suit Dismissed for Lack of Standing," Litigation Alert (September 24, 2021). Contact: Christopher A. Cole Client Alert / Newsletter
"Despite the Pandemic, Food-Related False Advertising Lawsuits Continue to be Frequent Filers," Crowell & Moring’s Retail & Consumer Products Law Observer (September 17, 2021). Authors: Christopher A. Cole, Raija Horstman and Roy Abernathy. Publication
Jay-Z’s NFT Feud Spotlights Legal Peril In Hot Investment Trend Bloomberg (September 16, 2021) Media Mentions
News Digest World Trademark Review (September 3, 2021) Media Mentions
Inside The 'Battleground For The Internet's Soul': Section 230 Law360 (August 30, 2021) Media Mentions