As we’re now less than a year away from the GDPR taking effect, there is a lot of confusion out there over myths versus reality. Reed Smith presenters will participate in a webinar hosted by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) that will explore the practical considerations and the new thinking that brands and their … Continue Reading
Advertisers, read our firm's latest client alert on the FTC's Operation Full Disclosure to learn about what your company can do to meet the FTC's "clear and conspicuous" requirements. Take advantage of this opportunity to closely review and remedy any inadequacies in your advertising disclosures before more aggressive steps are taken by the FTC and the plaintiffs' class action bar.… Continue Reading
On September 25, 2014, the Federal Aviation Administration announced its approval of limited commercial use of drones for film and TV production. The entertainment industry sees this as a leap in the right direction for competing with international markets where commercial use of drones is growing. Consider the implications of this approval. What other commercial uses might arise? How does this change the advertising and media marketplace? Read our recent client alert to see if sky's the limit.… Continue Reading
In letters sent to more than 60 companies, including 20 of the top 100 TV and print advertisers in the country, the FTC warned companies to review specific ads to ensure their disclosures are "clear and conspicuous," and that they comply with federal advertising regulations.
In a press release on Tuesday, the FTC explained the initiative - Operation Full Disclosure - as the agency's latest effort to guide companies to follow proper disclosure standards and avoid misleading consumers. Specifically, the agency targeted disclosures made in fine print or that were easy to miss by the average consumer. The FTC explained that disclosures should be in proximity to the claims to which they relate and in easy-to-read font color, size, and style, so consumers have access to all relevant information. For TV ads, disclosures "should be on the screen long enough to be noticed, read, and understood, and other elements in the ads should not obscure or distract from the disclosures."
The FTC is keeping the names of those companies targeted secret in an effort to allow them a chance to adhere to disclosure laws. However, without getting too specific, the agency hinted toward recurring problems. For example, the FTC explained in some ads, "the advertiser claimed that a product was unique or superior in a product category, but did not adequately disclose how narrowly the advertiser defined the category, while other comparative ads did not adequately disclose the basis of their comparisons."… Continue Reading
A recent Facebook Platform Policy change may affect the way many promotions are run on Facebook. The change, effective November 5, 2014, prohibits Facebook Page owners from requiring a user to "like" their Page in order to access content, such as entry into a contest or sweepstakes, via a Facebook application ("App"). Advertisers often use this technique, known as "like-gating," as a way to increase the amount of likes their Pages receive.
Facebook believes that a prohibition on like-gating will benefit both advertisers and consumers. In announcing the change, Facebook stated in a blog post: "[T]o ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives."
A like can be valuable to an advertiser, regardless of whether it is generated organically or artificially. When a user likes a Facebook Page, the like may appear on the user's Timeline, stories from the Page may show up on the user's news feeds, and users may also appear in advertisements for that Page.… Continue Reading
In order to provide consumers with increased information to make well-informed food choices, the FDA announced today a noteworthy overhaul in the presentation of the Nutrition Facts panel on packaged foods. Among the revisions are updates to the display, including font size changes and bolded text, new serving size and nutrient content calculations, and added sugar information. The changes will have implications for the advertising industry, presenting advertisers with the opportunity to capitalize on various nutrition claims. The FDA has invited feedback on the proposed changes and will be accepting comments for 90 days. For more information, please read the recent post on our Life Sciences Legal Update blog.… Continue Reading
When businesses pay for goods and services, they generally like to receive them. Unfortunately, as any bankruptcy lawyer will tell you, this consistent desire is not matched by uniform experience.
Most recently, the bankruptcy of KSL Media again illustrated the risks and concerns when an advertiser entrusts significant funds to an entity that is too thinly capitalized or, as some allege, guilty of diverting funds that were to be passed through and in breach of a fiduciary duty to its clients. KSL's bankruptcy, of course, was also noteworthy not because KSL was a start-up, but because it was not. We might expect capitalization risks with start-ups. But KSL was an established media company that failed. So the question remains: how can advertisers protect funds entrusted to suppliers, particularly those that are earmarked for payments to third parties?… Continue Reading
In 2012, streaming entertainment accounted for almost half of peak Internet traffic. In 2013, the online viewing phenomenon continues to generate massive amounts of actionable information about named consumers, from interests to habits to schedule to mood. Until now, the Video Privacy Protection Act – launched in the heyday of VHS – has blocked companies … Continue Reading
Dear ICANN and Members of the ICANN Board: In just five months, since the Association of National Advertisers formed the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight (“CRIDO”) and organized the global constituencies that have partnered and irrefutably shown that serious problems with ICANN’s proposal to open the DNS to unlimited TLDs remain unresolved despite years … Continue Reading