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

As mentioned, at the 39th Association of National Advertisers/Brand Activation Association Marketing Law Conference, “Breakthrough: Legal Strategies for Dynamic Businesses,” I gave a presentation on the key trends and legal developments sweeping the advertising and marketing ecosystem. Today I will share with you final installment of this series…

Let’s take a look at the regulatory landscape today. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a long history of enforcement against false and misleading advertising.

Since the FTC’s 1983 Policy Statement on Deception, the FTC has been continually applying and refining its standard based on case law, guidelines and workshops.  But with a new administration in Washington, the question is – are the FTC’s enforcement priorities changing?  Since the inauguration, the FTC … Continue Reading

As mentioned, I gave a presentation on the key trends and legal developments sweeping the advertising and marketing ecosystem at last week’s 39th Association of National Advertisers/Brand Activation Association Marketing Law Conference, “Breakthrough: Legal Strategies for Dynamic Businesses.” Today I will share with you the second installment of this series…

The question of who has access to consumer data and device information – and how it gets used – is one that we all need to worry about.  But when it comes to brands, how can they create compelling content to convince a consumer to stay connected and share their data?

And how can brands stay transparent and give consumers real choice about the use of their data?  The need … Continue Reading

It was an incredible three days in Chicago at the 39th Association of National Advertisers/Brand Activation Association Marketing Law Conference, “Breakthrough: Legal Strategies for Dynamic Businesses.” During yesterday morning’s general session, I gave a presentation titled “Transformation Sweeping Advertising and Marketing: Key Trends and Legal Developments,” exploring not only the trends and changes in the advertising and marketing ecosystem, but how lawyers can and are responding to keep pace with the industry and their business clients’ demands.*  In the next series of posts, I will share some highlights from my presentation. Let’s dive into the first one…

Influencer marketing isn’t just the fastest channel for consumer acquisition – it’s also one of the most cost-effective.  Studies have shown that working … Continue Reading

Donald Trump came to the White House with the lowest approval rating ever for an incoming president. From a branding perspective, things have not been getting better. On the 144th day of his presidency, Trump hit a 60% disapproval rating, giving him the dubious distinction of being the fastest to ever reach that mark (beating George H.W. Bush, who took 1,290 days to get there).

The result may be surprising to those who remember Trump as a master at cultivating his brand in business and entertainment, and perhaps expected that to translate to politics. There are just two problems with that reading of history.

First, while Trump demonstrated a certain genius for creating his brand as a businessman, it isn’t … Continue Reading