Madison Ave Insights

New York Attorney General Is Latest Regulator to Challenge the Auto Industry

Posted in Marketing, Regulatory

Recently, I co-authored the below advertising alert with Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Partner, Matt Smith.

On the heels of recent high-profile enforcement actions by both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) against the automobile industry, the New York Attorney General (NYAG) has now zeroed in on the industry as well.

Over this past summer, NY AG Eric Schneiderman settled numerous allegations of deceptive practices with more than 25 automobile dealerships throughout the state, requiring the dealerships to collectively pay over $14 million in restitution and penalties. And Schneiderman has indicated that his office intends to continue monitoring New York auto dealers and will bring more enforcement actions as necessary.


In March 2015, as … Continue Reading

Part 3: FTC Updates Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Endorsement Guides

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Promotions

As you know, over the past few weeks, Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Partner Allison Fitzpatrick and I have been discussing the FTC’s updated answers to its FAQs. The following topics will conclude this series: online reviews, employee endorsements, and monitoring.

Online Reviews: According to the FTC, a retail website that includes customer reviews of the products and encourages honest reviews of its products, regardless of whether the reviews are positive or negative, should disclose which reviews were made in connection to free products. Knowing that reviewers received the product they reviewed for free would likely affect the weight the audience gave to the reviews, even if the retailer did not intend for that to happen. In addition, reviewers could fear … Continue Reading

Part 2: FTC Updates its Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Endorsement Guides

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing, Social Media

As I mentioned last week, I will be continuing to discuss the FTC’s updated answers to its FAQs. This week, Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Partner Allison Fitzpatrick and I will focus on influencers and ambassadors, celebrity endorsements, and social media and promotions. Stay tuned for our last post in the series on online reviews, employee endorsements, monitoring.


Influencers and Ambassadors

In response to whether the Guides applied to influencers and ambassadors who are hired to promote a product or business on social media outside of their work hours, the FTC cautioned that these influencers and ambassadors have a financial connection to the company that hired them, and that relationship exists whether or not they are being paid for a … Continue Reading

Part 1: FTC Updates Answers to FAQs About Endorsement Guides

Posted in Advertising, Marketing

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently updated its answers to a series of frequently asked questions (New FAQs) about its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (Guides). The updated FAQs are further proof that endorsements and testimonials are once again on the FTC’s radar, and marketers and their agencies should expect an increase in enforcement over the upcoming months.

This summer, Allison Fitzpatrick, Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Partner, and I co-authored an alert on the FTC’s updated answers to FAQs about endorsement guides. Given the long-awaited guidance, I wanted to share with you its potential impact. In the next coming weeks, I will be addressing the following affected areas: Social Media, Likes, Pins, and Posts, … Continue Reading

A David in the Land of Agency Goliaths

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing

Sometimes it seems like the advertising industry is nothing but a land of Goliath’s – Goliath’s that are bent on marrying or eating one another.

David Angelo launched the David&Goliath agency in 1999, he and his agency have had enormous success by “thinking like David,” being nimble, resourceful, creative and brave – and fiercely independent. I’d also add “slyly funny” to that list of descriptors. David&Goliath’s Super Bowl spot for the Kia Sorento poked fun at over-the-top Super Bowl ads by having former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan dodge owls and a moose on a snowy mountain road. AdWeek’s Tim Nudd listed it among his five favorite ads of Super Bowl XLIX. David&Goliath’s spot for last year’s Super Bowl – … Continue Reading

Broadway Embraces Star Power, Creative Marketing

Posted in Advertising, Marketing

Timing is everything on Broadway, and with and with the new season kicking off, it’s an opportune moment to check in on marketing practices on the Great White Way.  The talk of the theater world this spring has been Fish in the Dark, the Broadway debut of Seinfeld co-creator Larry David.  The play broke advance sales records to the tune of $13 million, providing further support for the notion that star power goes a long way in selling theater tickets.

Stars bring built-in audiences with them, making their presence alone an effective marketing tool for producers.  Indeed, a glance at Broadway’s current lineup confirms that many productions are adopting the tactic of staging productions that have already established their … Continue Reading

LatinWorks Gets Creative for Hispanic Audience

Posted in Uncategorized

Hispanics are the largest and youngest minority group in the United States, and you can bet that major advertisers want to reach them.  Actually, an agency called LatinWorks did make that bet, opening its doors in 1998 with a focus on “cultural branding” and creative work that spoke to a Hispanic audience.  The bet has paid off handsomely; LatinWorks now has more than 170 employees, more than $200 million in billings, and offices in Austin, TX and Detroit, MI.  The agency’s explosive revenue growth (32 percent in 2013) helped land it the number nine spot on AdAge’s 2014 A-List.

Also helpful: standout creative work that has brought in a slew of awards (including multiple Cannes Lions) and accounts (Dominos … Continue Reading

Dos Equis is Bucking Beer Trends by Going Mobile

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Mobile

These are challenging times for major beer makers. Beer sales in the United States have fallen by about 4% since 2008, with the biggest declines being experienced by some of the largest brands. Bud, Miller High Life and Miller Lite have lost a quarter of their sales volume. Some might chalk this up to the encroachment of craft brewers, but while sales of craft beers have grown by roughly 80%, they still represent only 7.6% of beer sales nationwide. A recent article in Forbes suggests that the real reason for the decline in major brand beers sales is that the Baby Boomers who drink them are drinking less as they age, and millennials, partly because the major beer brands have … Continue Reading

Environmental Marketing Needs To Get Real

Posted in Advertising, Environmental, Marketing

As you know, Davis & Gilbert produced our 2014/2015 Lessons Learned Practical Advice document, where our lawyers highlight major developments in the marketing communications industry, and offer tips and best practices for marketers and their agencies in 2015. To view the full 2014/2015 Lessons Learned Practical Advice document, click here. This week, I wanted to share with you the section I co-authored with Matt Smith on environmental marketing.

2014 was another active year for environmental marketing claims, as consumers showed an increasing willingness to change their purchasing behavior based on environmental impact, and regulators made good on their promise to ramp up enforcement. Although the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent a strong message to marketers that it takes environmental … Continue Reading

The ANDYs – Honoring the Heroes of Advertising

Posted in Advertising, Marketing

We all need heroes and people whose bravery, commitment and skill make us feel like there is good in the world. These people inspire us to do our own best work and be our own best personal and professional selves.

That’s a point not lost on The International ANDY Awards. Launched in 1964 by The Advertising Club of New York, the ANDYs honors creatives who’ve done especially bold and courageous work. That’s an increasingly tall order in these days of tighter ad budgets, more conservative clients, and campaigns that have to address a variety of new media channels while still excelling at old school print and television.

And the ANDYs had great fun with the idea of brave heroes in … Continue Reading