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Tag Archives: FTC

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

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

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

Disclosures And Privacy Policies Head 2014’s To-Do List

Posted in Advertising, Marketing

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) made a number of changes to its regulations and guidelines in 2013.  Specifically, the FTC updated its “.com Disclosures” guide to provide advertisers with more specific instructions for complying with the FTC’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in various forms of new media. Moreover, the updated guide emphasized that disclosures must be clear and conspicuous on all devices and platforms where consumers may encounter advertisements and clarified methods by which advertisers can implement effective disclosures.  The FTC also announced new mobile privacy guidelines designed to improve the disclosures that appear on mobile platforms and that are used by application developers.

On the privacy side, dozens of state and territory attorneys general filed … Continue Reading

“New” Concerns Likely to Top FTC’s Interest This Year

Posted in Advertising, Marketing

There were significant changes in almost every aspect of the law relating to advertising, marketing and promotions in 2013, and Davis & Gilbert published a piece entitled, “2013 Lessons Learned and 2014 Practical Advice.” This piece explains and discuss what happened, and offer suggestions for advertisers and agencies to think about and address in 2014.

Over the next few weeks, I will share with you a few pieces I authored on the topics of: Environmental marketing, National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus rulings, and the Federal Trade Commission’s changes to its regulations and guidelines in.

Environmental marketing made a significant comeback in 2013. After years of diminished standing during the Great Recession, green issues were again … Continue Reading

Brand Activation Association Marketing Law Conference: Demonstrations

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Media

We’re all familiar with the classic product demonstrations in television commercials: who hasn’t seen re-enactments of the super-absorbent paper towel, or the dish detergent that cuts through grease with a single drop?

How do we define a demonstration?  Well, a demonstration is just that: a way for advertisers to show the product functioning as it actually would, as objective “proof” of performance.  As such, it is especially important that demonstrations actually consist of a true and accurate portrayal of the product.  When the FTC began bringing enforcement actions concerning advertising demonstrations in 1959, it encountered cases where products or props had been doctored, enhanced or replaced to achieve the desired performance, and the advertiser had not disclosed any modification.  Even … Continue Reading

Brand Activation Association Marketing Law Conference – The Reasonable Consumer

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing, Media

This week, leading lawyers, legislatures and marketers attended the 35th Annual Brand Activation Association (BAA) Marketing Law Conference in Chicago. At BAA I gave a presentation titled, “Journey to the Center of Advertising Law: Knowledge, Insights, and Practical Tips on The Most Important 2013 Advertising Developments.” Over the next few days, I will share with you three video clips from my presentation. Let’s dive into the first one…

How do we determine “reasonable consumer” behavior?  This is an increasingly important question in a world where the consumer population comprises people with differing views, perspectives, education levels, and experiences.  The “reasonable consumer” is crucial in advertising law:  this person interprets advertising, determines what claims are actually being made, decides whether there … Continue Reading

Understanding Industry Self-Regulation: A Conversation with C. Lee Peeler

Posted in Advertising, Regulatory

Edith Ramirez, the new chairperson of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), said that self-regulation can be “an important tool for consumer protection that can respond more quickly and efficiently than government regulation.”  For the advertising industry, that is certainly the case.  When advertising self-regulation was created in 1971, there were plenty of skeptics.  But today, the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC) – which establishes the policies and procedures for advertising industry self-regulation, including the National Advertising Division (NAD), Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), National Advertising Review Board (NARB), and Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) – remains critical for the industry, providing guidance on new developments and technologies, and implementing real monitoring and enforcement to preserve consumer protection standards.  This fall’s NAD … Continue Reading

“Canning the Spam” – The FTC on Mobile Spamming

Posted in Media, Mobile, Technology

Spamming has taken a new form in this era of mobile phones and text messaging.  In addition to fighting the clutter in our e-mail inboxes, we are also faced with clutter on our cell phones.  In the words of the FTC, text message spam is a “triple threat.”  First, mobile spam often uses the promise of free gifts or product offers to get you to reveal personal information such as bank account, credit card, or Social Security information.  Alternatively, clicking on a link in a text message can lead to the installation of malware that collects information on your phone and sends it to a third party.  Second, the spam can lead to unwanted charges on your cell phone bill. … Continue Reading

A Conversation With Verizon’s Jerry Karnick On The FTC’s Updated Dot Com Disclosure Guidelines

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Mobile, Technology

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released updated Dot Com Disclosure guidelines to fast forward to the present day and catch up with the technology consumers use more and more frequently – including smartphones, tablets, and social media. I previously gave you an overview of what the updated guidance means and how marketers need to approach the new FTC standards, and you’ve read “The Way I See It” on the updated guidelines.

I wanted to turn to an industry expert to discuss what the new FTC Dot Com Disclosure guidelines mean for advertising on various key platforms and what could be next for mobile and tech.

The Way the Industry Sees It:

I sat down with Jerry Karnick, … Continue Reading

FTC Updates Dot Com Disclosure Guidelines to Catch Up with New Technology

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Mobile

I talk here on Madison Ave Insights all of the time about the importance of mobile and social media for advertisers.  Technology is always changing, and with new technology comes a set of new challenges for industry groups, brands, and regulators.  In light of the rise of smartphones, tablets, and social media, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updated its online advertising disclosure guidelines.  Known as the Dot Com Disclosures, the guidance updates the original guidelines which were introduced in 2000, since, as we all know, a lot has changed since the turn of the Millennium.  While the general principles of traditional advertising law apply equally to online and mobile media, the updated guidelines provide specific guidance for making “clear and … Continue Reading

Understanding the FTC’s Expansion of COPPA: A Conversation with the Director of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing, Mobile

Surrounding a breakfast seminar, which was held at Davis & Gilbert today entitled, “Complying with the FTC’s Final Amendments to its COPPA Rule: What You Need to Know,” I thought a great post would be to examine that very topic.  In addition, I had the chance to speak to Wayne Keeley Director of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus and interview him as my Q&A guest this week.

Advertising to children has long been laden with complex issues.  Advertising promoting products that target children have long faced criticism from consumer advocates and regulators who raise safety, health, or inappropriate content concerns.  In the digital age filled with online privacy and data collection concerns … Continue Reading

The New Auto Industry: Friend of the Environment and Tech Star

Posted in Digital, Environmental, Marketing, Technology

Back in October, I talked here on Madison Ave Insights about the FTC’s just-released Green Guides and what they would mean for marketers moving forward. The FTC moved against unfounded and overused “environmentally friendly” and “green” claims in marketing for a range of products. The standards as established challenge the use of unqualified general environmental benefit claims and asks advertisers to scientifically prove specific green claims.

One industry with a focus on the environment that needs to adapt to both the demands of the marketplace and the restrictions of the regulators is the automotive industry. At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, consumers saw the latest model introductions from the automobile industry – domestic and foreign … Continue Reading

POM Wonderful

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Media

Guess what? When it comes to the claims you make in your advertising, substantiation matters – a lot. The FTC’s recent Final Order against POM Wonderful (POM) in which it found nearly 40 claims made by POM about its pomegranate juice products to be false and misleading based on the absence of proper substantiation, should leave no doubt that the FTC takes the issue of claim support very seriously. And the fact that most of POM’s challenged claims – claims regarding potential health benefits of the products, including that consumption could help treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, or erectile dysfunction – were not actually express claims, but rather implied claims (from both the wording … Continue Reading

FTC Amends COPPA to Strengthen Children’s Privacy Protections

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing, Mobile

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ended 2012 with a bang by adopting final amendments to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). For those of us who work in children’s advertising, these long awaited amendments came as no surprise. The final amendment, which goes into effect on July 1, 2013, came only weeks after the FTC issued a report that found that mobile applications have demonstrated “little progress” in addressing concerns about the privacy of children’s data.

COPPA was first enacted in 1998 and requires that operators of websites and online services that are either directed to children under thirteen or have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information from children under thirteen notify parents and obtain their verifiable … Continue Reading

Privacy and the FTC: Inside Perspective from FTC Commissioner Julie Brill

Posted in Digital, Media, Privacy

On Thursday during Advertising Week in New York City, I hosted an event called “Mission Impossible: Truth & Privacy – The Future is Now,” featuring Commissioner Julie Brill of the Federal Trade Commission, along with Frank Abagnale, one of the world’s foremost authorities on fraud and identity theft (you may know him best from the film Catch Me If You Can – he was portrayed by none other than Leonardo DiCaprio), and Jonathan Salem Baskin, Co-Author of Tell The Truth. Privacy is an issue everyone is talking about these days, and I wanted to share with you some of the thoughts and issues discussed during the session at Advertising Week. Click here to view a video of Ron’s conversation with … Continue Reading