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

Influencers – from bloggers, vloggers (video bloggers), YouTube stars and Instagram personalities – are truly the stars of social media, and brands are eager to harness their power and reach.

Millennials are estimated at having a purchasing power of $1.3 trillion, according to Social Media Week, and as social media continues to gain speed as one of millennials most coveted forms of currency, brands are taking notice. In order to best communicate with this growing demographic – whose attention span lasts a total of 8 seconds as reported by TIME Magazine – brands are heavily leaning on social media.

We are seeing these personalities being woven into brands’ advertising strategies, particularly in the form of sponsored content. More than … Continue Reading

There aren’t a lot of rules on the Internet. The World Wide Web is a wild west environment where the standard rules regarding sales tax, privacy, and decorum don’t apply. All of which makes it seem like a strange place for self-regulation. And yet, that’s the mission of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council, the industry body that regulates advertising not only on traditional media such as print, TV, and radio, but also online.

Given how quickly advertising has expanded on Internet sites and social media, that’s not just a tricky job—it’s a very big one. This year, the Commissioner of the Federal Trade Association delivered a keynote at a summit hosted by one of ASRC’s constituent organizations (the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation … Continue Reading

Two decades ago, Jerry Seinfeld famously said to best friend and self-proclaimed schlep George Costanza: “You know the message you’re sending out to the world with these sweatpants? You’re telling the world, ‘I give up. I can’t compete in normal society. I’m miserable, so I might as well be comfortable.’”

But fashion designers didn’t give up. Fast forward to 2015, and active wear —whether for activity or leisure— has been reinvented. Active wear is no longer an afterthought. It’s much more than a stitch niche; in fact, it’s become one of the fastest growing fashion segments. According to market research company NDP Group, active wear drove an eight percent increase in women’s apparel from 2013 to 2014.

One of the … Continue Reading

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently updated its answers to a series of frequently asked questions (New FAQs) about its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (Guides). The updated FAQs are further proof that endorsements and testimonials are once again on the FTC’s radar, and marketers and their agencies should expect an increase in enforcement over the upcoming months.

This summer, Allison Fitzpatrick, Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Partner, and I co-authored an alert on the FTC’s updated answers to FAQs about endorsement guides. Given the long-awaited guidance, I wanted to share with you its potential impact. In the next coming weeks, I will be addressing the following affected areas: Social Media, Likes, Pins, and Posts, … Continue Reading

Sometimes it seems like the advertising industry is nothing but a land of Goliath’s – Goliath’s that are bent on marrying or eating one another.

David Angelo launched the David&Goliath agency in 1999, he and his agency have had enormous success by “thinking like David,” being nimble, resourceful, creative and brave – and fiercely independent. I’d also add “slyly funny” to that list of descriptors. David&Goliath’s Super Bowl spot for the Kia Sorento poked fun at over-the-top Super Bowl ads by having former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan dodge owls and a moose on a snowy mountain road. AdWeek’s Tim Nudd listed it among his five favorite ads of Super Bowl XLIX. David&Goliath’s spot for last year’s Super Bowl – … Continue Reading

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

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

We live in a world of product innovation. There is sea change going on in media and technology. It seems that there is a new media platform and revolutionary device announced every week. Advertising is the currency that allows the offering of free information and services in media to consumers. Consumers absolutely want free content and do not wish to pay for it. Advertising has evolved to keep pace with changes in viewing habits, device use, technology innovation and taste and content. To keep pace with the advertising evolution, there is a critical need for industry self-regulation. This is the role of the National Advertising Division (the NAD).

The best way to establish trust with consumers is to establish standards … Continue Reading

Maybe you’ve seen them on Instagram or Facebook – pictures of babies dressed up in grown-up suits like so many chubby-cheeked David Byrnes. It’s called “baby suiting,” and it’s the latest photo craze instigated by mom blogger Ilana Wiles, who just a year ago launched a surge of “baby mugging,” which is just what it sounds like (well, maybe not) – taking pictures of babies as though they’re sitting in coffee mugs.

Wiles and her blog – MommyShorts – are part of a growing and influential trend of moms who blog. According to recent research by eMarketer, there are roughly 4.2 million moms who blog, accounting for eighteen percent of all adult bloggers. An established mom blog can have hundreds … Continue Reading