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San Francisco’s Mass Transit Agency Accused of Illegally Collecting and Transmitting Smart Phone Data Through Security App

San Francisco’s public transportation agency and the creator of the agency’s suspicious activity reporting smart phone application have been accused of illegally collecting, tracking, and storing users’ personal information and location data without their consent, in violation of California statutory and constitutional protections. A putative class action complaint, which was filed this week in a … Continue Reading

Digital media are now caught by French regulation and in particular by stringent transparency requirements

By virtue of the French “Sapin” law of January 29, 1993, France has become one of the most transparency-regulated media markets in the world, and remains so today. With the new Decree No 2017-159 of February 9, 2017, the protection of advertisers is further strengthened by extending the transparency requirements of the Sapin law to … Continue Reading

Irish Butter Shortage Spreads Trademark Battle in Wisconsin

A Wisconsin federal judge issued a temporary restraining order last month against a Wisconsin creamery for their use of the “Irishgold” Irish butter trademark and associated packaging. Irish dairy distributor Ornua Foods North America Inc. filed suit for willful trademark infringement against Old World Creamery LLC and Eurogold USA LLC, asserting that Old World’s butter … Continue Reading

Popcorn Makers Fight Over Use of “Skinny”

Last month, snack food company Snyder’s-Lance filed a declaratory judgment action in North Carolina against Amplify Snack Brands and its SkinnyPop popcorn. Hours later, Amplify brought suit against Snyders-Lance in Texas, alleging trademark infringement over Snyders’ “Metcalf’s Skinny” popcorn and other snacks sold under the “Metcalf’s Skinny” brand name.  At issue is whether the term … Continue Reading

Another Wake Up Call for Transparency

On May 18, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) released a critical study under a joint initiative led by Ad/Fin in cooperation with the ANA, the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA), and Ebiquity.  The study investigated the transparency and economics of programmatic media; particularly what percentage of an advertiser’s programmatic media spend actually went to … Continue Reading

For Media Transparency, The Stars Are Starting to Align in the United Kingdom

UK-based media agency, the7stars, recently announced it would adopt the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers’ (ISBA) template agency agreement—an arrangement designed to foster a transparent relationship between advertisers and media buying agencies. Since K2 Intelligence released its report on the U.S. media buying industry in June—a report which detailed non-transparent business practices employed by media … Continue Reading

Squeezing the Supply Chain: Premium Publishers Align with Advertisers in Fight to Clean Up Murky Digital Media Ecosystem

Advertisers aren’t alone in their quest to clean up the digital media ecosystem—this, according to an open letter penned by Digital Content Next (DCN) CEO Jason Kint. Kint’s letter was in response to P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard’s IAB speech last month, where Pritchard drew a line in the sand regarding the quality and … Continue Reading

Contractual Audit Rights: How to Overcome Real-Life Challenges Webinar

Douglas Wood, Partner at Reed Smith LLP, will be presenting a webinar on Contractual Audit Rights: How to Overcome Real-Life Challenges. Clear Law Institute will host the webinar, which you can attend live on February 27 at 1 p.m. ET or view a recording anytime after the event.     You can receive a 35% discount off … Continue Reading

“You’re Fired” – The Growing Fallout from Celebrity Rants

While the beginning of the Trump era started with debates over the size of crowds and immigration bans, last week was all about brands and their affiliation (or desire to be unaffiliated) with President Trump. Most recently, this issue came to the forefront when Under Armour’s CEO gave an interview on CNBC and called Trump … Continue Reading

What’s In A Name? Unwanted Kardashian Affiliation Dooms High-End Cosmetic Product

The Eleventh Circuit recently denied the Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian’s (the “Kardashians”) motion to compel arbitration related to a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by upscale cosmetics company, By Lee Tillett (“Tillett”). The parties are now set to litigate the matter in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.  Tillet produces … Continue Reading

Subway Turns Back Class Action Over Free Sandwich Text Message Promotion

Subway scored a recent victory when a federal court dismissed a putative class action brought by two customers over a free sandwich promotion alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) after allegedly receiving a text message offering a free 6” Oven Roasted Chicken sub. Subway moved to compel arbitration, seeking to enforce the … Continue Reading

FTC Unanimously Approves Settlement with Pet Food Manufacturer Over Alleged False Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission has approved a final Decision and Order settling a dispute with pet food producer Mars Petcare US, Inc. (“Mars”) related to advertisements for Mars’ Eukanuba brand dog food. The settlement arose from an FTC investigation into a number of television, print, and internet advertisements released by Mars in 2015 stating that, … Continue Reading

Jamming Out Costs New York Auto Dealerships Millions

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman recently announced a $1.6 million settlement with two auto dealerships, SG Hylan Motors and Best Auto Outlet, Inc., who were found to have engaged in jamming schemes between 2010 and 2014. “Jamming” is the deceptive practice known in the auto-dealership industry whereby dealers unlawfully charge consumers for hidden … Continue Reading

FTC Releases Report on the “Sharing Economy” for Internet-Based Services

Last month, the FTC released a staff report entitled “The ‘Sharing’ Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators,” that assesses evolving business models relying on internet and app-based “sharing economy” platforms, such as peer-to-peer platforms (think, Airbnb), and their effects on more traditional industries. The 100-page report also discusses several “trust mechanisms,” such as reputation … Continue Reading

YouTube Encourages Transparency by Offering Optional Disclosures on Paid Videos

As more and more companies voluntarily implement measures to enhance transparency among their user base, this month, YouTube introduced the option for creators to feature paid promotion disclosures on video content. The disclosure may be added to existing or new videos and features visible text on the video for the first few seconds as viewers … Continue Reading

The ANA is hosting a contract workshop for Advertiser/Agency Agreements on October 4

The ANA will be hosting a contract workshop for Advertiser/Agency Agreements on October 4, 2016. The workshop, taught by Doug Wood and Keri Bruce, will cover key issues in the advertiser/agency contract related to agent versus principal status, incorporating transparency, audit rights and contract governance. Join us for this free training session. Find out more here.… Continue Reading

Second Pokémon Go Alliance Announced: SoftBank

The international phenomenon surrounding the mobile game Pokémon Go has captured the attention of marketers. As we have discussed before, until Niantic, the developer of Pokémon Go, makes sponsorship more readily available, marketers in the U.S. and across the globe have found interesting and innovative ways to latch onto the Pokémon Go craze. The promise … Continue Reading

Till Death Do Us Part? How to Deal With Celebrity Publicity Rights When That Celebrity Passes

The tragic death of renowned recording artist Prince left many reminiscing about his meticulously crafted public image. In life, the law allowed Prince to control the commercial exploitations of his image.  At death, however, that control was lost. Celebrities routinely harness their “images” as a means of generating revenue, relying on intellectual property and right … Continue Reading

A New “Wrinkle” in Native Advertising: NAD Embraces FTC’s “Deceptive Door Opener” Theory

Last week, the National Advertising Division (“NAD”) issued a decision in the realm of online native advertising.  In the action against Joyus, Inc., the NAD was concerned that the company’s advertising for certain products appeared in a format that blurred the line between editorial content and advertising in a way that may confuse consumers.  Joyus … Continue Reading

Did Virginia Save the Daily Fantasy Sports Industry?

Though there aren’t many $2 bills in circulation anymore, Thomas Jefferson’s beloved Virginia just made spending money on daily fantasy sports (“DFS”) contests legal. On March 7, 2016, Virginia enacted the “Fantasy Contests Act” (the “Act”), making it the first state law to affirmatively address the legal issues plaguing the DFS industry. Beginning in 2009, … Continue Reading

BULLETIN: SAG-AFTRA ISSUES MEMBER ALERT TO ORGANIZE DROGA5

SAG-AFTRA’s pledge to increase efforts in enforcing the SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract and the Radio Recorded Commercials Contract was on full display with its latest Member Alert to organize Droga5, a non-signatory ad agency. Indeed, the October 12, 2015 alert to union membership was a true call to action: “Now is the time for action. . … Continue Reading
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