Madison Ave Insights

Regulators Continue Their Focus On Disclosures

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Regulatory

2014 marked a year of significant change in the marketing communications industry.  To help understand these changes, Davis & Gilbert produced our 2014 Lessons Learned/2015 Practical Advice, where our lawyers highlight major developments in the marketing communications industry, and offer tips and best practices for marketers and their agencies in 2015.

Over the next few weeks, I will share with you a few pieces I authored on the topics of: FTC – Regulatory and State, Emerging Hardware – Robots, Drones and Connected Devices, and the NAD. To view the full 2014 Lessons Learned/2015 Practical Advice document, click here.

 FTC – Regulatory and State:

The regulatory landscape in 2014 was marked by a continued focus on the importance of clear, … Continue Reading

NAD Recommends Changes to Online Travel Agency’s Search Engine Marketing Claims

Posted in Advertising, Marketing

The Council of Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division (NAD) has recommended that, as a result of a complaint filed by Expedia, two online travel sites change several aspects of their search engine marketing (SEM) to avoid misleading consumers.  While SEM is a common and long-standing practice, the NAD’s decision emphasizes that there are still emerging issues that companies engaged in this type of marketing should observe.

Expedia’s Challenges

Expedia filed a challenge with the NAD alleging that the SEM practices of Fareportal Inc., the operator of travel sites CheapOair.com and OneTravel.com, were misleading.

First, Expedia challenged Fareportal’s practice of advertising what appeared to be low fares from a specific origin to a destination identified in a consumer search query, … Continue Reading

Fast Food that Will Not Derail Your Diet – b.good and Feel Good

Posted in Advertising, Direct Marketing, Marketing

To understand b.good, the healthy sandwich and salad shop that has taken the northeast by storm, we’re going to need to hop into the DeLorean, and go back to 1987 – when the founders met. b.good’s co-founders, Jon Olinto and Anthony Ackil, met in the sixth grade, and formed a fast friendship. After countless shared burgers – and years later – the duo teamed up to create something that they felt was missing from the marketplace.  They set out to create a line of restaurants where the food was made by real people, not factories.  In fact, burgers share the menu with kale and quinoa bowls and seasonal salads, and are all made with ingredients sourced from local farmers who … Continue Reading

From Springsteen to Restaurants to Louis C.K – Charitable Giving is Alive and Well

Posted in Marketing, Media

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sang New York, New York; Louis C.K riffed on rats doing it in the subway; and Bruce Springsteen auctioned off two guitars, a lasagna dinner and a motorcycle ride. That was just some of the goings-on at the 8th Annual Stand Up for Heroes charity show, which raised $6 million to help post-9/11 vets and their families.

In addition to the Boss’s “guitars n’ lasagna” package, this year’s Stand Up for Heroes featured some other new fundraising wrinkles.

One was Dine Out for Heroes, an initiative led by Peter and Penny Glazier of the Glazier Group of restaurants, in which more than 200 participating restaurants donated a dollar for every meal they … Continue Reading

SoulCycle is Spinning Its Way Across the Country

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Media

Candlelight, loud music, and the chance for a potential celebrity sighting – it sounds a bit like a nightclub, or at the very least a trendy bar. While all of the above are nightlife commonalities, they are also a key factor in the success of SoulCycle – an intense, full-body workout done on a stationary bike.  The brand has turned “spin class” into one of the most successful fitness trends around, generating a cult-like following among its devotees, which include Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Charlize Theron just to name a few. In addition, celebs such as Lena Dunham and Oprah have even held SoulCycle birthday parties.

SoulCycle has set itself apart from other fitness trends in a … Continue Reading

VIZIO Turns a Medium into a Community

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Media, Social Media

Social media can be challenging with its many channels and niche audiences. Where does a brand start? And how do brands tie their efforts together? VIZIO, the nation’s largest seller of flat panel televisions, answered these questions by creating its own social network, called Fandemonium.

By leveraging a sponsorship begun in 2010, VIZIO first launched Fandemonium at the 2013 Rose Bowl game; encouraging fans to cheer and jeer plays for a chance have their pictures displayed on the stadium jumbotron.  Fandemonium participation – including store check-ins as well as viewing and writing product reviews – is rewarded with points that members can redeem from VIZIO, or one of its Fandemonium partners, which include Hulu, Netflix, and ESPN.

The genius behind … Continue Reading

Detroit Punches Back

Posted in Advertising, Marketing

One of the biggest news stories of the last year occurred on December 3, 2013, when the city of Detroit became the largest municipality in the United States to enter Chapter 9 bankruptcy.  A decades-long economic decline saddled Detroit with $18 billion in debt, high crime rates, extensive urban blight and, it would seem, a problem marketing itself to potential visitors.

But Detroit is one hard city to knock out.  (It is the home of Joe Louis, after all.)  From the Model T to Kid Rock, the Motor City has contributed enormously to the manufacturing, musical, and cultural life of our nation, giving it an enduring appeal.  The only northern city to have hosted two Super Bowls, Detroit plays … Continue Reading

Finding Your Cheese in the Marketing Law Maze

Posted in Advertising, Marketing

Today’s marketing and advertising landscape may be more laden with legal tripwires, regulatory mines, sharp corners, and dead ends than ever before. Technology is definitely evolving in real time, new laws are creating a tangled web of regulation, and consumers are savvier and more in control than ever.

Fortunately, the 36th Annual BAA / PMA Marketing Law Conference – themed Navigating the Marketing Law Maze – is here to help you find that elusive piece of cheese at the end. Taking place November 5 – 7, 2014 at the Windy City’s Downtown Chicago Marriott, the conference is built for inside and outside counsel, marketing executives and the increasingly eclectic mix of professionals caught at the crowded intersection of compliance and … Continue Reading

The American Association of Advertising Agencies Has the 411 on the Latest Regulatory Issues

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Regulatory

Brands and the agencies that help market them have full plates. Just keeping up with the way technology has changed, and how brands communicate with customers is, to say the least, a full time job. But, there are so many things that affect businesses, not the least of which is how government regulation can either help or hinder what we do.

That’s why organizations like the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) are so important. Among its many roles, the 4A’s advocates for advertising and marketing agencies and the other businesses it supports on a wide variety of issues. Some of the biggest items on its current docket:

The deductibility of advertising spending: Tax law has traditionally treated advertising as … Continue Reading

Privacy & Data: 3 Predictions from FTC Commissioner Julie Brill

Posted in Advertising, Legislation, Privacy, Regulatory

Advertising Week has always been an important week to those in the industry, and last week I sat down with Advertising Week’s Executive Director, Matt Scheckner, to talk about this year’s Advertising Week and how it reflects the changing face of the industry.  When discussing Advertising Week’s mission – Matt named education as one of the most important factors, and that’s certainly “The Way I See It.”

For the third year in a row, Davis & Gilbert was honored to sponsor the 2014 Advertising Week annual privacy/data forum, “Mission Impossible IV: Truth and Privacy.” I hosted this forum in NYC, and had the unique opportunity to talk to those who have their finger on the pulse of … Continue Reading