Remembering Chairman Michael Pertschuk | Federal Commerce Fee

You couldn’t miss the six-foot signal former FTC Chairman Michael Pertschuk had on his workplace wall: “Washington’s Headquarters for Magic Tips Jokes – Fireworks.” He claimed to have salvaged it when a D.C. novelty store closed, nevertheless it appeared purpose-built to explain his seven-year tenure on the Federal Commerce Fee.

Magic methods? He had a couple of of these up his sleeve. A tireless champion for America’s shoppers, his aim was to rework a small federal company into what he described as “the best public curiosity regulation agency within the nation.” With a artistic “Why not?” angle, a daring sense of mission that attracted energetic attorneys and economists to the company, and greater than somewhat legerdemain, Chairman Pertschuk reimagined the FTC’s technique for difficult misleading and unfair practices in meals advertising, tobacco promoting, promotions focusing on youngsters, and every part in between.

Jokes? The joke was on any regulation violator who underestimated Chairman Pertschuk’s braveness and resolve. By no means one to again down from a struggle to guard shoppers, his feisty and fiery method to the regulation received him many admirers – and a few highly effective opponents, too.

Fireworks? A typical day in Chairman Pertschuk’s workplace may generate extra pyrotechnics than July 4th on the Nationwide Mall. Nevertheless, most of the controversial positions he took throughout his tenure have confirmed to be presciently true. At all times with a watch towards the long run, in 1980 he predicted the introduction of “knowledge web terminals” within the dwelling, hoping they might stay as much as their “nice promise for shoppers,” however warning concerning the dangers of “lurking risks.”

Michael Pertschuk – client advocate, public servant, and a fighter to the top – died on November 16, 2022, on the age of 89.

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