No one who plans and operates a promotional sweepstakes wants to litigate over the prizes. But one of the primary reasons an operator wants a set of experienced eyes on a set of Official Rules is to ensure that the operator is covered – just in case there is a dispute with one or more of the contestants. Sometimes, operators cleverly anticipate that an arbitration clause will help to lower the risk of a dispute involving a contest or sweepstakes. And, undoubtedly, there might be situations where arbitration can help the operator lower the risk of costly litigation. But, like many substantive provisions of the promotional contract between an operator of a sweepstakes and a participating consumer, the clever protections you and your attorney put in place are only effective if they are made a part of the contract.
The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), which represents major global alcohol producers, partnered with leading advertising, public relations and influencer agencies to sign an Influencer Pledge that sets standards and rules for influencers who market alcohol on social channels. The Pledge is meant to prevent influencer alcohol marketing from reaching minors and to encourage influencers to promote responsible drinking. In addition to the Pledge, the companies created a set of five safeguards applicable to influencers that work with alcohol brands.
A lucrative prize incentive can be the engine for an exciting and socially beneficial innovation competition. Despite the good intentions of the organizer, a lot can go wrong even when the sponsor is a nonprofit. An innovation contest generally promotes the generation of ideas or prototypes for new advancements in an industry. We have worked with many entities that seek to encourage innovation through prize incentives. Such promotions can involve very large prizes, and they can engender a lot of press coverage. Regardless of whether the purpose of the contest is for commercial, educational, or social purposes, a company or organization can still end up in federal court if the contest is not properly structured and conducted.
The Northern District of California has dismissed for the third and final time a proposed discrimination class action against Facebook that challenged Facebook’s former tool that allowed advertisers to select target audiences for their housing advertisements in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act. Plaintiffs alleged that this tool could exclude protected classes of consumers from seeing certain advertisers’ housing ads. Facebook moved to dismiss, arguing that plaintiffs lacked standing and its publishing conduct was protected under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
On April 30, 2021, the Mexican Chamber of Senators and Deputies passed a new law on “Transparency, Prevention and Combating of Unfair Practices in Advertising Contracting.” The law seeks to eliminate and prosecute non-transparent media practices between advertisers, media owners, and agencies. The law will go into effect on September 1, 2021.
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a class-action lawsuit that alleged Trader Joe’s Manuka Honey product labeling was misleading. Trader Joe’s marketed its store brand Manuka honey as “100% New Zealand Manuka Honey” or “New Zealand Manuka Honey.” Plaintiffs claimed that these labels were misleading because the honey only consisted of between 57.3% and 62.6% honey derived from Manuka flower nectar. Plaintiffs alleged that the label and ingredient list created a “false impression” that the Trader Joe’s honey contained a higher percentage of honey derived from Manuka.
On June 7, 2021, the Southern District of California dismissed a case against Edgewell Personal Care, Co., alleging that defendants’ label on its “Wet Ones” antibacterial hand wipes was false and deceptive. Plaintiff brought a putative class action against defendants for making misleading representations about the efficacy and skin safety of its hand wipes. The suit was filed under the California Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”), False Advertising Law (“FAL”), and Consumer Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”).
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has officially adopted interim policy changes that will allow college athletes the opportunity to benefit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL). This change comes on the heels of NCAA v. Alston, discussed here, where the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that the NCAA violated anti-trust laws when it limited education-related benefits a college or university could offer student athletes. We previously wrote about the NCAA’s adoption of a new rule allowing elite Olympic and Paralympic athletes to have “additional training expenses” paid without jeopardizing their NCAA eligibility. This new policy goes well beyond the NCAA’s previous rule.
In May 2020, Maryland made two major moves in the sports world: it legalized sports betting and passed a law allowing college athletes to profit from their names, images, and likeness.
This CLE webinar offers a unique, inside look at how BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division (NAD) evaluates medical devices and other health-related products and services. Our panelists will engage in a lively discussion of recent enforcement trends and challenges for manufacturers, and how companies can effectively use the NAD framework to their advantage. In addition, this event will discuss NAD guidance on self-regulation and how to use it as a tool to ensure competitors also meet the standards set by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).