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Intuit, Inc. v. FTC

Beginning in 2016, Intuit ran an advertising campaign for a TurboTax “free” tax-filing service that did not clearly and conspicuously disclose that most consumers did not qualify for the free service. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that Intuit’s ads were deceptive in violation of section 5 of the FTC Act, and it issued a remedial order requiring Intuit to disclose in its advertising the number of consumers who qualify for the “free” product. Intuit appealed the FTC’s order in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Public Citizen, on behalf of itself and the National Consumer Law Center, submitted an amicus brief supporting the FTC’s decision. The brief first explains that including TurboTax’s website address in the advertising did not make website information available to consumers and therefore could not correct the ad’s misleading content. In addition, the brief explains that Intuit’s First Amendment challenge to the FTC’s disclosure requirement should not be subject to heightened scrutiny.