As mentioned in my previous two posts (found here and here), I gave a presentation at the 40th Annual Association of National Advertisers/Brand Activation Association Marketing Law Conference titled “The Pursuit of ‘Truth’ in Advertising.” It explored how consumers view the truth in this era of fake news and alternative facts, and how this changing understanding of the truth has affected the advertising ecosystem and the practice of advertising law. Today, I will share the third installment in my series of highlights from my presentation.

Who am I?

Who are you?

In the data driven world, who I am and who you are really depends on who wants to know. Each advertiser is interested in a different story about … Continue Reading

As mentioned in my previous blog post, I gave a presentation at the 40th Annual Association of National Advertisers/Brand Activation Association Marketing Law Conference titled “The Pursuit of ‘Truth’ in Advertising.” It explored how consumers view the truth in this era of fake news and alternative facts, and how this changing understanding of the truth has affected the advertising ecosystem and the practice of advertising law. Today, I will share the second installment in my series of highlights from my presentation.

There is one bedrock principle that has always defined advertising regulation: advertising and marketing must be truthful, non-misleading and non-deceptive. That’s the common thread tying together all consumer protection principles. But today, it’s much more complicated.

When the … Continue Reading

It was another successful year in Chicago at the 40th Annual Association of National Advertisers/Brand Activation Association Marketing Law Conference. During Friday’s general session, I gave a presentation titled “The Pursuit of ‘Truth’ in Advertising,” taking a look at how consumers view the truth in this era of fake news and alternative facts, and how this changing understanding of the truth has affected the advertising ecosystem and the practice of advertising law. In the next series of posts, I will share some highlights from my presentation. Let’s dive into the first one…

Consumers are putting more of their trust in online “influencers” over other sources of reliable facts. In conjunction, social media has quickly evolved to a media not … Continue Reading

Flip back through articles, columns, tweets and other prognostications from marketing pundits over the past decade plus, and you’ll see a common theme: it’s going to be a big year for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

And finally, that time has come. Well, sort of…

While we’ve been teased and tantalized about the potential of these awesome technologies, the time finally seems just about right for their proliferation — at least for one of the two platforms. That’s the reality of new marketing technologies; once they reach a critical mass of brand and consumer buy-in, legal challenges naturally emerge as we explore their full potential.

In the case of these perception-altering platforms, it’s VR that’s experienced a downshift … Continue Reading

Perform a quick Google news search for “digital advertising” and it’s quickly apparent that transparency — or a perceived lack thereof — is an issue that runs rampant in the industry. In other words, how does the math calculating impressions, clicks and other key metrics add up behind the screen? Perform the same search engine query for “blockchain,” the basis of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and it’s equally obvious that transparency is among the biggest boons for the decentralized and mutually-verifiable digital ledger.

The upshot? It’s only natural that blockchain emerges as a disruptive force for digital advertising. In fact, this strategic synergy, albeit a bit complicated at times, is already underway. This shared chapter was recently chronicled by my … Continue Reading

Since coming to the forefront in 2017, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have made an indelible mark on Hollywood and on Madison Avenue. My colleagues, James Johnston, Josh Gordon, and Samantha Rothaus wrote a timely piece about the impact in the latest edition of Trends in Marketing Communications Law, Davis & Gilbert’s annual publication surveying the law affecting marketers and their agencies. Though the long-term ramifications of these movements are still playing out, as my colleagues noted, one impact is clear. #MeToo has caused studios and agencies to revive old contractual provisions like the “morals clause” (in addition to popularizing the new “inclusion rider” provision).

Designed to protect a producer’s investment, a morals clause allows the producer … Continue Reading

California sets the standard for the rest of the country in a lot of areas—now, we can add privacy regulation to the list, as discussed by my colleagues Richard S. Eisert and Gary A. Kibel in a recent Davis & Gilbert client alert. This summer, California passed a bill known as the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, imposing rigorous privacy-related obligations on entities that do business in the state. Some have called the act “GDPR-light” since it implements some concepts similar to those in the new European law.

The California law was thrown together in a hurried effort by the legislature to head off an even more restrictive ballot initiative. That initiative had broad public support and enough … Continue Reading

On Wikipedia, there are two entries for “The Golden Age of Television.” The first describes a period from the late ’40s to late ’50s, which featured live productions aimed at the affluent viewers who could then afford television sets. The second one, we’re living through now.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has gotten glued to one of the many gripping series parading across our screens in this new century. From The Sopranos, to Breaking Bad, to Mad Men, it has been an embarrassment of riches.

They say that nothing gold can stay (well, Robert Frost did anyway). That’s a scary thought for viewers, but one that has been articulated by a television executive who … Continue Reading

Brand messaging shows up everywhere these days, from the screens in our pockets to the sides of sports stadiums. The ubiquity of brand content makes the fight for ever-decreasing attention spans only tougher as the number of communications platforms multiplies. It’s enough to make traditional forms of messaging, like the press release, obsolete.

There’s no doubt that today’s savvy marketers are looking beyond the standard release, either replacing it altogether or adapting it to the new world order in communications. Spicing up the customary press release format with strong visual elements—like infographics or video content, for instance—can make messages easier to digest and better fodder for social media engagement. Other brands have discovered that going big with live events offers … Continue Reading

Most professionals can look back to a time in their careers when a selfless individual provided them with guidance, encouragement, or advice. Usually, it was someone more experienced, who had seen and done much more than they had, who provided the needed direction. That small sacrifice, that gift of time and talent, ultimately had a profound impact on their professional journey.

Unfortunately, many people don’t have such a person in their lives. For marginalized members of society, including those dealing with homelessness or addiction, learning the basic skills necessary to find and retain a job is a formidable challenge, especially without help navigating topics like resume building, financial planning, and public speaking.

This is where San Francisco-based Code Tenderloin is … Continue Reading