Case Detail

In re Union of Concerned Scientists Campaign Against Auto Emissions Ads
(Regulatory Proceeding)
On September 26, 2005, the FTC announced its decision not to take action on a letter-writing campaign of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), in which UCS and its supporters asked the FTC to punish a trade association for an issue advocacy ad. The decision was a victory for WLF, which had filed comments on May 17, 2005, arguing that issue advocacy ads are constitutionally protected. The ad in question, which the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers placed in Capitol Hill publications such as Congress Daily, called attention to improvements in auto emissions. UCS's campaign disputed the ad's claim that today's cars are "virtually emissions free" because they emit carbon dioxide. The FTC agreed with WLF's view that the ad was protected speech.
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