Business Faculty Publish Article on Advertising and Consumer Rights Under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act

The paper of Michelle Alarcon, J.D., Associate Professor of Management, and Joseph Ha, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing, entitled “Assessment of Psychological Advertising Along Consumer Rights And The Rule On Section 5 Of The Federal Trade Commission, Part 1 Of 2: Unfairness Doctrine” was recently published in the Journal of Applied Business Research. The article analyzes the current federal consumer protection law regulating advertising under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (“FTC Act”), which bans unfair and deceptive practices, then presents rationales for change followed by a framework for revision. The objectives of this change are to ensure that this regulation upholds consumer rights and provides a consumer-centric process that respects free choice. One outcome of this proposal will be a ban on advertising practices that utilize psychological stimuli. The framework will focus on expanding the “unfairness” doctrine of the FTC Act. The FTC states that “unfair acts or practices injure both consumers and competitors because the unfair act or practice wrongly diverts consumers who would otherwise have selected a competitor’s product,” thus an effective customer-centric regulation could postulate a healthier economy. 

The article by Alarcon and Ha is posted here.  Since publication in September, there had been 41 downloads of the paper. 

Michelle Alarcon (contact author) is a licensed attorney in Hawaii, and she was recently elected as Board Director for Oahu, Hawaii State Bar Association’s Senior Counsel Division. Alarcon earned her J.D. at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and an MBA from Pepperdine University, Los Angeles. Her primary teaching areas are Business Law and Management. Email:

Joseph Ha earned his Ph.D. at Rutgers University. His primary teaching area is Marketing. He currently serves as program chair of Marketing at HPU’s College of Business Administration. Email: