FTC Approves Final Settlement Regarding Deceptive “Made in USA” Claims

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced the approval of a final consent order settling charges that Pennsylvania-based Bollman Hat Company has agreed to stop deceptive use of its “American Made Matters” certification and marketing materials.


First announced in January 2018, the FTC’s complaint against Bollman Hat Company and its wholly-owned subsidiary, SaveAnAmericanJob, LLC, alleges that Bollman and its subsidiary deceived consumers with “Made in USA” claims for Bollman hats and third-party products.  According to the complaint, Bollman and its subsidiary marketed hats with claims such as “American Made Matters,” “Choose American,” and “Made in USA since 1868.”  The FTC alleges that more than 70 percent of their hat styles are wholly imported as finished products.  Of the remaining styles, many contain significant imported content, according to the complaint.

The FTC also alleges that Bollman and its subsidiary made deceptive claims through a U.S.-origin seal they introduced in 2010, known as “American Made Matters.”  In addition to using the “American Made Matters” seal to market their own products, Bollman and its subsidiary licensed the seal to any company claiming to have a U.S.-based manufacturing factory or one product with a U.S.-origin label, and meeting several membership requirements, including self-certifying that at least 50% of the cost of at least one of their products was incurred in the United States, with final assembly or transformation in the U.S., and paying an annual licensing fee of $99, according to the complaint.

The Commission has an Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims, and other business guidance on how companies can comply with the Made in the USA standard. The FTC’s Made in the USA page features cases, instructive closing letters, and the brochure Complying with the Made in USA Standard, which answers many of the questions companies ask.


Consult with an experienced Internet marketing and advertising compliance law attorney regarding the implementation of preventative protocols, or if your company is the subject of regulatory action.

Richard B. Newman is an Internet marketing compliance and regulatory defense attorney at Hinch Newman LLP focusing on advertising and digital media matters. His practice includes conducting legal compliance reviews of advertising campaigns, representing clients in investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Federal Trade Commission and state Attorneys General, commercial litigation, advising clients on promotional marketing programs, and negotiating and drafting legal agreements.  

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Richard B. Newman

Richard B. Newman is a nationally recognized FTC advertising compliance, CID investigation and regulatory enforcemetn attorney. He regularly provides advertising counsel and represents clients in high-profile investigations and enforcement proceedings initiated by the Federal Trade Commission, state attorneys general, departments of consumer affairs, and other federal and state agencies with jurisdiction over advertising and marketing practices. Richard is also an ecommerce lawyer and spam defense attorney. His practice additionally focuses upon false advertising defense, data privacy, cybersquatting, intellectual property law and transactional matters relating to the dissemination of national advertising campaigns, including the gamut of affiliate marketing, telemarketing, lead generation, list management and licensing agreements. Richard advises clients on how to minimize the legal risks associated with digital marketing, email marketing, telemarketing, social media influencer campaigns, endorsements and testimonials, negative option marketing models, native advertising, online promotions and comparative advertising,

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