Just Released: This Quarter's GALA Gazette

Read the latest issue of the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA) quarterly e-newsletter, the GALA Gazette, containing advertising law news and updates from around the world.
Reed Smith is founder and member of GALA, a network of local counsel who specialize in advertising, promotions and media law, in more than 50 countries.

What We're Reading 8-27-2012

What We're Reading

Bits, NY Times: Hulu Faces Privacy Test in Court

Can a privacy law passed in the era of videotape rentals be applied in the era of Internet streaming?

Hulu, the online video content provider, is about to face the test. A lawsuit filed in a federal court in California says Hulu violated its users' privacy by sharing their viewing history with companies that could in turn offer them tailored advertisements.


Reuters: FDA warns Hershey over chocolate syrup labeling

Hershey Co made nutritional claims for its chocolate syrups that do not meet regulatory guidelines, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.


Reuters: Australian court approves tobacco pack logo ban

Australia called on the world to match its tough new anti-tobacco marketing laws that will ban logos on cigarette packs, after its highest court on Wednesday dismissed a challenge from global manufacturers.


Reuters: Judge rejects Facebook settlement over ad feature

A U.S. judge rejected Facebook Inc's proposed legal settlement to resolve allegations that the social networking company violated its members' rights through the its 'Sponsored Stories' advertising feature.


Reuters: EU considering cigarette logo ban to deter smoking

The European Union is considering banning logos on cigarette packs as part of an upcoming review of its law to deter smoking, a spokesman said on Thursday, a day after Australia's highest court upheld a similar ban.

What We're Reading 8-20-2012

What We're Reading

FTC.gov: Google Will Pay $22.5 Million to Settle FTC Charges it Misrepresented Privacy Assurances to Users of Apple's Safari Internet Browser 

Privacy Settlement is the Largest FTC Penalty Ever for Violation of a Commission Order

Google Inc. has agreed to pay a record $22.5 million civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it misrepresented to users of Apple Inc.’s Safari Internet browser that it would not place tracking “cookies” or serve targeted ads to those users, violating an earlier privacy settlement between the company and the FTC.


Excite News: EA sues Zynga claiming copyright infringement

Electronic Arts Inc. has sued online game maker Zynga saying that its new game "The Ville" infringes its own game, "The Sims Social."


Tech Daily Dose, National Journal: Lawmakers Raise New Concerns About New Domain Name Program

Nearly six months after the program was launched, key members of Congress are still raising concerns about a plan to introduce hundreds of new Internet addresses into the domain name systems, saying they want fresh assurances that the new strings will not harm trademark holders and that the public has adequate opportunity to comment.


FTC.gov: FTC Approves Final Settlement With Facebook

Facebook Must Obtain Consumers' Consent Before Sharing Their Information Beyond Established Privacy Settings

Following a public comment period, the FTC has accepted as final a settlement with Facebook resolving charges that Facebook deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public.


Excite News: Study: Junk food laws may help curb kids' obesity

Laws strictly curbing school sales of junk food and sweetened drinks may play a role in slowing childhood obesity, according to a study that seems to offer the first evidence such efforts could pay off.

What We're Reading 8-15-2012

What We're Reading

FTC.gov: FTC Seeks Comments on Additional Proposed Revisions to Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule

The Federal Trade Commission is publishing a Federal Register Notice seeking public comments on additional proposed modifications to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule.


Bloomberg: Google Should Pay $750 a Book, Authors Say in E-Book Suit

Authors suing Google Inc. (GOOG) over the digitizing of books asked a judge to order the company to pay $750 a book for illegal copying and distribution of their works, according to a court filing today.


Tech Daily Dose, NationalJournal: ACLU and Facebook Defend the Right to 'Like'

The right to "like" something on Facebook is protected under the First Amendment, say the American Civil Liberties Union and Facebook.


FTC.gov: FTC Sends Refunds to Consumers Who Paid to Collect Bogus Prize Money, Tricked by Scammers Posing as Government Agencies

The Federal Trade Commission mailed 503 refund checks to consumers who were allegedly tricked into paying a fee to collect a fake multi-million-dollar sweepstakes prize. The FTC alleged that operators of the scam, collectively known as Prize Information Bureau, sent personalized mailers, some with fictitious government agency names and official-looking seals, to hundreds of thousands of consumers.


BBC: Facebook's first real-cash gambling app launched 

A real-money gambling app has been launched on Facebook - the social network's first.

What We're Reading 8-01-2012

What We're Reading

Media Decoder: Even on Social Media, Marketers Must Provide Disclosure, Says Ad Group

Advertisers who make claims about their products on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest need to be mindful of the fine print they use, or forget to use, in their postings.


ABC News: Ohio Higher Ed Panel: Ban All Tobacco on Campuses

Ohio higher education officials have voted unanimously to urge the state's public campuses to ban all tobacco use, both indoors and outdoors.

The Ohio Board of Regents' resolution approved Monday comes after a review showed such policies help both smokers and nonsmokers and cut costs for education institutions. It also calls for a ban on sales and advertising.


FTC.gov: FTC Testifies on Commercial Uses of Facial Recognition Technologies

Agency Will Recommend Best Practices to Safeguard Privacy, Security

The Federal Trade Commission today told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee that the FTC is examining the benefits to consumers, as well as privacy and security concerns regarding current and possible future commercial uses of facial recognition technologies and will make recommendations later this year on best practices for companies that use these new technologies.


MediaPost: IAB: Ad Industry Readies Mobile Privacy Principles

The online ad industry is poised to extend privacy self-regulation to the mobile platform, the Interactive Advertising Bureau says in a new filing with the Federal Communications Commission.


The Hill: Court dismisses challenge to airline advertising rules

A Washington, D.C. appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Department of Transportation can regulate the advertising of airline tickets prices.

What We're Reading 7-10-2012

What We're Reading

Excite News: China court: Apple pays $60M to settle iPad case

Apple has paid $60 million to settle a dispute in China over ownership of the iPad name, a court announced Monday, removing a potential obstacle to sales of the popular tablet computer in the key Chinese market.


NY Times: Soda Makers Begin Their Push Against New York Ban

Lobbyists from Coca-Cola and other big soda companies have met with mayoral candidates and City Council members. Canvassers hired by the beverage industry are stopping New Yorkers on the street to solicit signatures on petitions. Facebook and Twitter pages tell readers to “say no to a #sodaban.”


FTC.gov: FTC Report: Many Consumers Believe "Up To" Claims Promise Maximum Results

The Federal Trade Commission today released an FTC-commissioned study indicating that when marketers use the phrase "up to" in claims about their products, many consumers are likely to believe that they will achieve the maximum "up to" results.


NY Times: A Bet (and Tattoo) on an Olympian

Some marketers are spending tens or hundreds of millions of dollars on Olympic sponsorships. Then there is Hanson Dodge Creative, an advertising and design agency in Milwaukee, which spent $11,100 to perch on the shoulder of an Olympic athlete.


Information Week: Google Plans Button To Block Ads

Feature may put an end to ads that follow you across websites.

Google said Monday it will soon provide users with a capability that has been available for years through third-party browser extensions: the ability to block ads.

What We're Reading 7-3-2012

What We're Reading

FTC.gov: FTC Proposes Changes Making it Easier to Comply With Alternative Fuels Rule

As part of the Federal Trade Commission's systematic review of all current FTC rules and guides, the FTC is proposing to consolidate the labels required on alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) with those required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), eliminating the need for two different labels and reducing the burden of complying with the Alternative Fuels Rule.


FTC.gov: FTC Seeks Public Input on Jewelry Industry Marketing Guides 

Do you have something to say about jewelry and how it's marketed? If so, the Federal Trade Commission wants to hear from you. As part of its systematic review of all current FTC rules and guides, the Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on the agency's Jewelry Guides.


The Hill's Floor Action Blog: Senators introduce guidelines bill for data security breaches 

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) introduced a bill on behalf of himself and four other Republican senators setting national standards for how companies inform individuals of a breach of security related to personal information.


FTC.gov: FTC Files Complaint Against Wyndham Hotels For Failure to Protect Consumers' Personal Information

Credit Card Data of Hundreds of Thousands of Consumers Compromised, Millions of Dollars Lost to Fraud

The Federal Trade Commission filed suit against global hospitality company Wyndham Worldwide Corporation and three of its subsidiaries for alleged data security failures that led to three data breaches at Wyndham hotels in less than two years.


CBS News: Delaware lawmakers approve online gambling  

The state Senate on Wednesday narrowly approved a bill authorizing online betting in Delaware and more venues for sports wagering and other gambling.