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

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

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

Sports and marketing have come a long way since a young Pittsburgh Steelers fan offered Mean Joe Green a Coke in the classic 1979 television commercial. For one thing, the audience has changed. The oldest millennials were just being born in the late 70s, but now comprise one quarter of the U.S. population. Highly coveted by advertisers, millennials are often painted as fickle beasts. New data, however, challenges that notion. In fact, according to a pair of new studies, millennials are the most brand-loyal generation of all. This makes it all the more important for brands to get an early foothold with these prized consumers.

One entity helping brands pull off that difficult trick is Whistle Sports. This booming digital … Continue Reading

You’re only as good as your first page of Google search results. That’s the reality of today’s business environment. Keeping a company’s online reputation as pristine as possible is a baseline for any sophisticated marketing strategy.

Need proof? The Edelman Trust Barometer for 2015 found that Internet search engines are now the most trusted source of news and general information. When surveyed, 72% of online users said they trusted search engine results, a statistic that’s up 8% from 2014. Put another way, nearly three quarters of potential customers searching a company’s name will likely trust what Google returns on that first page. Glowing results will drive sales. Negative results will not.

One of the best ways to control what shows … Continue Reading

Buying is an emotional act. Science bears this out. Functional MRI scans, in fact, show that people often rely on emotions rather than information when evaluating brands. Other studies have found that the emotions triggered by an ad influence a potential customer’s intent to buy far more than the actual content – by a factor of 3-to-1 for television commercials.

A perfect case study for this is Whirlpool’s “Every day, care” campaign. In addition to being a solid example of the power of visual storytelling, the campaign’s television ads focus on the small, everyday acts of kindness that often go unnoticed, but have remarkable impact. The spots evoke strong emotions, and maybe even a few sniffly tears. Whirlpool has also … Continue Reading

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

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

2014 has been a banner year so far for shoemaker Stuart Weitzman. The luxury shoe brand is a top choice for a dizzying array of starlets who love Weitzman’s combination of style and comfort – such as Beyoncé who has claimed to have danced a thousand miles in hers, and Kate Middleton who sported a pair of Stuart Weitzman wedges when the Royal Couple visited Australia – and the brand made a big splash with the launch of SWxYOU.

SWxYOU is a series of limited edition shoes that allow customers to customize their shoes by choosing their own colors and hardware. Of course, Stuart Weitzman, the man behind the brand, has always been an innovator, ever since he took over … Continue Reading

Marketers promote, entertain, celebrate, and explain. In other words, they talk. But Dave Kerpen, cofounder and chairman of Likeable Media and founder and CEO of its sibling company, Likeable Local, believes that a different skill is needed in a media landscape increasingly driven by social media – listening.  And by listening, Kerpen means more than just using social media channels to respond to consumer questions and complaints.  He sees listening via social media as a means to tell stories and engender authentic conversations with and among consumers and to promote conversations that strengthen and reward brand loyalty.

In a lot of ways, it’s the next step in the evolution of branding. Branding started with the idea that companies and products … Continue Reading