Tag Archives: Advertising

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

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

The Quarter Ham: California Court of Appeal Affirms Judgment in Unfair Competition and False Advertising Case

You can still get your quarter ham “STARTING AT $23.99” from Honey Baked Ham, Inc. according to the California Court of Appeal in its unpublished decision on November 8, 2016.  The Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court’s judgment that Honey Baked Ham, Inc. did not engage in unfair competition or in false or deceptive … Continue Reading

Join Reed Smith at the 2017 ANA Advertising Law & Public Policy Conference

The digital world is growing and lawyers are increasingly engaged in every aspect of the process, from content creation to consumer protection. Lawyers are helping CMOs, brand managers, and creative directors in producing stellar marketing campaigns leverage a wide array of resources. Our very own Doug Wood will be moderating: TWEETING WITH WORDS For a … Continue Reading

It Was a Matter of Seconds: Putative Class Action Complaint Filed Over Facebook Video Metric Error

A putative class action lawsuit has been filed against Facebook, Inc. just one month after Facebook announced that an erroneous formula had caused it to inflate a key video metric for the past two years. Facebook admitted the error in a September 23, 2016 post on the Facebook business page.  The metric at issue—the average … Continue Reading

Starbucks Puts Another False Advertising Lawsuit On Ice

On Friday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed a class-action lawsuit against Starbucks. The class alleged a violation of Illinois’ Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, among other claims.  Specifically, the class alleged that Starbucks is engaging in unfair acts and practices … Continue Reading

FTC Settles Supplement Maker Over Unsubstantiated Claims and Expert Endorsement

On October 5, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled its case with Supple, LLC over certain advertising claims regarding its Supple joint supplement. Between 2011 and 2015, the company advertised (via social media, radio, and in-person pitches) that the supplement was scientifically proven to provide complete relief from chronic and severe joint pain stemming … Continue Reading

FTC Sues Terry Somenzi Over Fake Prize Schemes

Last week, the FTC filed a lawsuit against Terry Somenzi and International Advisory Services, Inc., among other defendants, for an allegedly fake prize scheme in federal court. According to the FTC’s complaint, the defendants engaged in deceptive acts and practices by targeting thousands of elderly consumers, announcing in a personalized letter that the recipient had … Continue Reading

FDA Guides Industry For Use Of “Healthy” On Food Packaging

Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) announced guidance regarding using the term “healthy” in the labeling of human food products. As background, the FDA issued final rules updating the Nutrition Facts label and serving size information for packaged foods this past May.  Those rules require that the Nutrition Facts label include changes in the … Continue Reading

Autozone Sued Over Its Loyalty Program

Late last week, a class action lawsuit was filed in California state court against AutoZone. The case was filed pursuant to AutoZone’s rewards program.  According to the complaint, AutoZone’s loyalty program provides consumers with a “reward credit” for each purchase they make over $20.  After five credits, consumers would allegedly receive a $20 reward, which … Continue Reading

House of Representatives Passes Consumer Review Fairness Act and Better Online Ticket Sales Acts

The House of Representatives passed two bills last week relevant to the advertising industry: the Consumer Review Fairness Act and the Better On-line Ticket Sales Act (“BOTS Act”). The Consumer Review Fairness Act is aimed at protecting consumers who write online reviews on certain websites, by invalidating “form contracts” which would impede those reviews from … Continue Reading

Dun & Bradstreet Settles TCPA Class Action Lawsuit for $10 Million

Late last week, Dun & Bradstreet Creditability Corp. and its related entities settled a class action lawsuit. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that Dun & Bradstreet violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) by using an automatic dialing system to call cellular phones without prior express consent of the plaintiffs. As part of the … Continue Reading

NBA Team Sued By Fans Over Mobile Application

Earlier this week, a putative class action was brought against the NBA’s Golden State Warriors concerning the team’s mobile application. According to the complaint, the free app provides an interactive experience for fans by delivering scores, news and other information relevant to the Golden State Warriors. The plaintiffs allege that the app contains certain Bluetooth beacon software … 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

Mars Settles With FTC Over Dog Lifespan Claims

Last week, Mars Petcare U.S., Inc. (“Mars”) settled its case with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) over certain advertising claims. In 2015, the FTC initiated an investigation of Mars’ advertising claims for its Eukanuba dog food. Its advertising claimed that dogs that ate Eukanuba lived 30% longer than their typical lifespan and that Eukanuba brand … Continue Reading

FTC Sends Warning Letters to Companies Making Zika Virus-Protection Claims

Last Friday, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) sent warning letters to ten online marketers that were making Zika virus-protection claims.  The Center for Disease Control believes that the Zika virus is spread primarily through the bite of infected Aedes species mosquitoes.  The marketers in focus are currently advertising that their products repel Zika virus-carrying mosquitoes. … Continue Reading

NAD Determines 5-Star Ratings Claims Unsubstantiated

The advertising industry’s self-regulatory arm, the National Advertising Division (“NAD”), recently reviewed certain advertising messages made by Vapore, LLC.  In both television and internet advertising, Vapore claimed that its “MyPurMist” handheld steam inhaler had “more 5-star reviews than any other steam inhaler.”  In connection with the 5-star review message, Vapore focused on certain attributes of … 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

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

New SIFMA Guidance May Ease Accredited Investor Verification Worries, Assist Reg D Offerings Using General Solicitation

One of the goals of the federal JOBS Act, enacted in 2012, was to expand the ability of companies (both operating companies and funds) to make non-registered securities offerings using general solicitation and advertising. Offers made through general solicitation and advertising have been prohibited under the SEC's private offering safe harbor ever since Regulation D was adopted in 1982, and many have complained that the restriction was pointless where all purchasers were accredited investors as defined in Regulation D. However, the SEC believed a change required legislation. The JOBS Act made that change. However, the Act, and the new rule adopted in 2013, imposed a new requirement - the issuer of the securities must take reasonable steps to "verify" that all the purchasers in a general solicitation offering are accredited investors. Failure to take reasonable verification steps would violate the rule even if it turned out that all purchasers actually were accredited.… Continue Reading

Native Advertising Once Again In The Spotlight

As we have previously reported here, native advertising is intended to form a part of users’ online experiences, aiming to engage and compel with minimal disruption. Often the content of native advertising is high quality, reaching out to an audience’s wants and needs, sometimes going viral. Clearly marketers are working within divergent boundaries; creating appealing … Continue Reading

Risky Business: Identifying & Protecting Against Risk in Film, Music & Advertising

Join Reed Smith and Marsh for a lively roundtable in Beverly Hills on Thursday, May 29, covering key risks in media and entertainment, including advertising, film and television, and music publishing and performance. This event is designed as a forum for candid and thought-provoking conversation between peers regarding current issues facing the industry, and is recommended for financial executives, risk managers and in-house counsel. Date and time: Thursday, May 29, 2014 3:30 - 4:00 pm Registration & Networking 4:00 - 6:00 pm Program 6:00 - 7:00 pm Cocktail Reception Location: Beverly Wilshire Hotel (A Four Seasons Hotel) in the Champagne & Burgundy Rooms 9500 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90212… Continue Reading

ASA Administers First Aid Ad Ban

In a rare move, the ASA overturned at the end of last year its previous decision to reject a complaint about the accuracy of data used in a St John Ambulance ad, and has banned the ad in its current form, after an independent review. The ad (watch it here) was the 10th most complained … Continue Reading
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