Archives: Social Media

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The Fyre Festival Storm Continues: Kendall Jenner Settles Over Social Post

For those following the fallout from the Fyre Festival, the drama continues.  Last week, model and influencer Kendall Jenner settled a bankruptcy lawsuit for $90,000 relating to her promotion of the Festival. To refresh your memory, Fyre Festival was planned for spring 2017, advertised as a music and culinary paradise held on a private island … Continue Reading

Webinar: Advertising and Litigation Risks for Food and Dietary Supplement Companies

Join Jason Gordon on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, for a live webinar hosted by the FDLI and titled, “Influencers, Social Media Advertising, and Litigation Risks for Food and Dietary Supplement Companies.” Food and dietary supplement companies are increasingly using influencers and social media to advertise their products. These marketing strategies are even more important during … Continue Reading

FTC Settles With Tea Maker for Inadequate Disclosures and Unsubstantiated Claims

The FTC recently settled with Teami, LLC (“Teami”), an indication that the Agency is still actively reviewing health claims and monitoring social media influencers for proper disclosures.  Teami allegedly brought in over $15 million through its deceptive marketing tactics, but given the company’s financial condition, the FTC agreed to partially suspend its $15.2 million judgment … Continue Reading

Proposed updates to German influencer labeling #Ad

On February 13, 2020, the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) published a proposal to soften the regulatory requirements for influencers for labeling their posts as advertising (Proposal). Under the Proposal, statements posted on social media about products for which no consideration was given – either in the form of monetary compensation … Continue Reading

FTC Releases Guidance for Influencers

On Tuesday, the FTC released a set of guidelines for online influencers dictating when and how influencers must disclose sponsorships to their followers. The guidelines, available here, break down disclosure requirements and provide tips for influencers on how to avoid deceptive advertising. In general, the guidelines largely reflect what the industry has gleaned from FTC … Continue Reading

New York AG Declares War on Fake Followers, Likes, and Online Deception

Earlier this year, the New York Attorney General reached a “precedent-setting” settlement with Devumi LLC, a third-party website, over its sale of fake followers, “likes,” and views to customers on all major social media platforms. Devumi utilized computer-operated “bot” accounts and “sock-puppet accounts” (where an online user pretends to be one or many other people) … Continue Reading

Is that a selfie or an ad? UK watchdog launches investigation into influencer marketing.

We are all familiar with celebrities and social media stars using their social media accounts to promote brands and products. For some, it is their main source of income and they can make millions in endorsement and sponsorship deals. Major TV and sports icons can command hundreds of thousands of pounds per post, which may … Continue Reading

Webinar: Rules of the road in engaging with influencers

Please join us for a complimentary webinar hosted by the Association of National Advertisers on the current issues related to influencer marketing, for industry experts. Jason Gordon, partner in the Entertainment & Media Group at Reed Smith, and Jennifer MacDougall, VP, associate general counsel and assistant corporate secretary & ethics officer at Jack in the … Continue Reading

Potential(ly) Reach(ing): Facebook Sued Over Inflated Audience Numbers

On August 15, Danielle A. Singer and her company Project Therapy, LLC (dba Therapy Threads) filed a class-action complaint against Facebook, Inc. over its claims concerning ad audiences. According to the Complaint, Facebook overstates its audience metrics in order to induce advertisers to spend money on ads on the platform. The plaintiffs allege, in part, … Continue Reading

Preparing for the Next Phase of Influencer Marketing – The CGI Influencer

Social media influencers are constantly competing for likes, partnerships, and ways to differentiate themselves from others. A surefire way to distinguish oneself in the ever-growing sea of social influencers? Being a robot. Computer generated social media influencers like Lil’ Miquela and Shudu have racked up millions of Instagram followers and likes and have secured several … Continue Reading

Illinois Biometric Lawsuit Against Facebook Moves Through Court System

A 2015 lawsuit brought by Facebook users over the company’s alleged unauthorized collection of their facial features and other facial biometric data pursuant to the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) is slowly moving through the courts. The BIPA requires written notice and consent for the collection of biometric identifiers or biometric information of Illinois … Continue Reading

More to Say? Twitter To Allow Longer Tweets Starting September 19

Starting September 19, 2016, Twitter users will be able to say more in their Tweets.  As it stands, Twitter limits Tweets to 140 characters – and every character, including images, videos and URLs – count towards this limit.  Beginning next week, Twitter will eliminate the types of content which count against its 140 character limit. … Continue Reading

Privacy Watchdogs File Complaint With FTC over WhatsApp’s Privacy Policy Change

Yesterday, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (“EPIC”) and the Center for Digital Democracy (“CDD”) filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against WhatsApp, Inc. According to the complaint, WhatsApp posted an entry on its company blog on August 25, 2016 announcing an update to its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. The updated Privacy … Continue Reading

Pinterest Updates its Promotion Guidelines

Last week, Pinterest updated its Acceptable Use Policy, which governs its policies for conducting a contest and sweepstakes. Pinterest policy previously: Prohibited brands from running a sweepstakes where each Pin, board, like, or follow represents an entry; Prohibited brands from requiring entrants to Pin from a selection; or Prohibited brands from requiring a minimum number … Continue Reading

Riding the Initial “Pokémon Go” Phenomenon: Branding Basics

Pokémon Go, released July 6, has unleashed a swarm of hopeful Pokémon trainers into the world, seeking to, as Pokémon famously says, “catch ‘em all.” And while Pokémon Go users are traversing cities, towns and hamlets to catch Pokémon, advertisers want to catch a little of that Pokémon magic. Brands and local businesses are recognizing … Continue Reading

Public Service Campaign regarding children’s online safety

The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) and the BBB are pleased to announce the launch of its second Public Service Campaign regarding children’s online safety.  CARU’s first campaign titled, “Do you know where your children are…on the Internet?” was broadcasted on the major network and cable channels, received thousands of views on social media and … Continue Reading

Lord & Taylor Settles with FTC Over Influencer Native Advertising Campaign on Social Media and Online Magazine

We’ve seen native advertising take many forms, from paid celebrity Tweets to advertisements masked as editorial content to paid influencers promoting brands on social media. With a growing number of companies engaging in native advertising, in particular those involving social media influencers, the relationship between independent bloggers and corporate brands has become a sticky issue … Continue Reading

Facebook Posts Important Advertising Law Win

On October 30, 2015, Facebook, Inc. posted an important win in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In a non-precedential decision, the court upheld the federal district court’s dismissal of a complaint filed by a proposed class of minor Facebook users. The plaintiffs alleged that Facebook’s terms of use—specifically, a provision granting Facebook the right … Continue Reading

Is Your Social Media Influencer or Blogger an Employee or an Independent Contractor? What Companies Need To Know Before They Engage Bloggers and Other Independent Contractors

With the first quarter of 2015 behind us, many companies are already deeply engaged in social media campaigns.  Many of these campaigns include the engagement of professional bloggers or other persons with social media influence to promote corporate brands through social media.  These individuals are typically classified as independent contractors, but are they really employees? … Continue Reading

Facebook Revamps Community Guidelines By Cracking Down on Hate Speech, Graphic Violence and Nudity

Sensitive to the expanding diversity of the online community, the world’s largest social network has taken a step to curb highly contentious postings. On March 16, Facebook revamped its community guidelines, detailing what is and is not acceptable behavior on the site. With social media playing an ever-increasing role in the news and current events, … Continue Reading

Brand Owners: Do You Know Your Social Media Ownership Rights?

A recent district court case reminds companies and brand owners to establish clear guidelines or contractual rights with respect to brand-related social media pages' administration and ownership. Plaintiff Stacey Mattocks independently ran an un-official Facebook fan page which focused on the TV show the "Game". After Black Entertainment Television network (BET) acquired rights to the TV show, it hired Mattocks to promote and grow the brand on the page and provided exclusive content and IP to Mattocks. During Mattocks' employment, the number of page "likes" grew from 2 million to 6 million. Mattocks had granted BET full access to the page to update content but later, during a dispute involving Mattocks' terms of employment, Mattocks demoted BET's ability to access the page without her approval and claimed ownership of the page. BET approached the social media platform to regain control and Mattocks filed suit for various claims against BET (such as breach of contract and tortious interference with contract). While social media platforms offer certain protections to companies and some include official or verification procedures, this kind of litigation and expense could have been avoided with more careful planning with respect to allocation of rights and ownership up front.… Continue Reading
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