Jersey Shore star, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, lost his lawsuit last week against Abercrombie & Fitch (“A&F”) when a Florida federal judge ruled the case could not proceed to trial based on his trademark infringement, publicity rights, and false advertising claims related to a t-shirt the retail store sold labeled “The Fitchuation.”
Continue Reading Jersey Shore Star Loses “Fitchuation” Lawsuit to Abercrombie & Fitch

Representatives of SAG-AFTRA and the Joint Policy Committee representing the advertising industry have agreed to extend for one week the current Screen Actors Guild Television Recorded Commercials agreement and AFTRA Radio Recorded Commercials agreement. Both contracts were previously set to expire March 31, 2013. Under the extension, the agreements will remain in effect through and including April 7, 2013.

The JPC and SAG-AFTRA began negotiations for successor agreements to the commercials contracts on February 14. Both parties look forward to continued productive negotiations under the mutually agreed upon and previously announced media blackout still in effect.
Continue Reading Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Union Relations (JPC) and SAG-AFTRA

The next time you watch Mad Men, you may find yourself paying a little closer attention to the opening credits. Last week, Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation was sued by a model from the 1950s and 1960s who is alleging the company violated her publicity and privacy rights by using a photograph from her in the show’s opening credits without her permission.
Continue Reading Model Suing Lions Gate Over Opening Credits of Mad Men

MISTAKE NO. 1. Taking Your Eye Off the Mark.

Too often, brand names and trademarks are misused in the quest for creativity.

Self Defense: In the end, it’s all in the name – the brand and trademark of the promoter. With the name and reputation of the promoter at stake, proper appreciation of the promoter’s trademarks is essential. To the suppliers, it’s mostly just money. To the promoter, it’s the franchise it has with the consumer. Without the brand, there is no promotion. Above all else, protect the brand, use it correctly, and have the promoter’s trademark counsel review all materials.

MISTAKE NO. 2. Succumbing to the Monty Hall Syndrome.

When it comes to hiring vendors,"Let’s make a deal" with the cheapest one is a costly approach, particularly with printers.

Self-Defense: Have written procedures and guidelines for the selection of vendors. Don’t always award jobs to the lowest bidder. Reputation and experience are the key elements to look for when selecting vendors, particularly printers, since they are a key player in a successful promotional execution. Whenever possible, go with vendors with whom you have a track record. Due diligence investigations of all suppliers is mandatory. Check references. If the supplier is new, get examples of prior jobs. Visit the plant to see if the equipment is sufficient. Inquire about the supplier’s other commitments and timetable to be certain your project is properly scheduled. Establish timetables and PANIC when they’re not met. Establish contingency plans if something goes awry. Get copies of certificates of insurance and, if necessary, get added as an additional insured. Have a representative present during the job or have access at any time during the contract period.

Continue Reading The Top Ten Legal Mistakes in Promotion Design, Execution, Fulfillment and Contracts