Christie Grymes Thompson is a partner in the Kelley Drye & Warren Washington, D.C. office, and chair of the Advertising and Marketing and Consumer Product Safety practice groups. Named 2016 D.C. Advertising “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers®, she focuses her practice on consumer protection matters, including advertising, product safety, competitor challenges, and promotions. She counsels clients on all aspects of regulatory compliance, with a focus on statutes and regulations enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and state Attorneys General. Ranked nationally as a leading practitioner in the Advertising: Transactional & Regulatory area by Chambers USA, sources tell Chambers that Ms. Thompson has “outstanding technical industry knowledge” and is “practical, responsive, efficient, and fun to work with.”
Ms. Thompson advises national advertisers and consumer products manufacturers on how to keep regulators, competitors, and consumers from knocking on their door with a legal challenge and, if they do knock, she helps them answer and defend the marketing claims at issue. To that end, she reviews advertisements and marketing materials for all media, including television, print, Internet and telephone, to determine compliance with relevant regulations and the risk of challenge. In the event of an inquiry or complaint, Ms. Thompson represents clients before federal and state law enforcement agencies, self-regulatory bodies, and in court for class actions or other litigations on matters involving claim substantiation, sale pricing practices, green marketing, cause marketing campaigns, financial offers, and mobile disclosures, among others. Ms. Thompson also initiates challenges to competitors’ advertising before the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus and in federal court under the Lanham Act to help clients protect their brands and position in the marketplace.
From a product safety standpoint, Ms. Thompson advises clients to ensure that products on the market meet applicable safety standards, including complying with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (CPSA), the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGBA), and the Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA). This work includes developing product safety compliance programs, analyzing potential reporting obligations, coordinating with other parties in the distribution chain, implementing product recalls, defending against enforcement and penalty proceedings with the CPSC, and responding to Freedom of Information Act requests Ms. Thompson helps companies identify and resolve potential product safety issues confidentially before they escalate and have the potential to draw scrutiny from regulators and negative publicity.