Category Archives: Internet/Social Media

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Broadening Your Self-Regulatory Options – 2 Sheriffs in Town

The Advertising Self-Regulatory Council operates several self-regulatory programs including CARU, NAD and ERSP.  Traditionally these have been thought of as distinct programs – CARU regulates marketing to children, ERSP regulates companies that market and sell their products electronically while NAD oversees most traditional national advertisers.  While this compartmentalization is largely true, there is some overlap … Continue Reading

CARU Heats up with Fireside Chat about Hot Button Issues in Children’s Marketing with Commissioner McSweeny

Huddled in front of a digital hearth on the third and final morning of the NAD Annual Conference, FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny participated in a cozy fireside chat about children’s marketing with ASRC President and CEO, C. Lee Peeler. The newest FTC Commissioner reported (or warned!) that she is closely following the evolution of marketing … Continue Reading

Survey Says: NAD Panel Weighs in on Surveys

In contrast to a general emphasis on new data and new claims at the 2015 NAD conference, NAD staff attorneys, advertising lawyers, and survey experts took the time to weigh in about the emphasis NAD will continue to place on traditional best practices of consumer surveys for claim substantiation or challenge.  Although online surveys programs … Continue Reading

Live From New York, It’s …The NAD Annual Conference

Well, not quite live.  This week we’ll be providing updates from the NAD Annual Conference, which kicked off today in New York.  The keynote address was given by  FTC Commissioner Julie Brill, who reminded the audience that while the advent of the internet age and social media has radically changed how advertisers market their products and … Continue Reading

Hear! Hear! FCC Modernizes Contest Rules for Broadcasters

The days of on-air fast-talking contest announcements are coming to an end.  Last Thursday, the FCC adopted revised rules that allow broadcasters to disclose contest rules on an Internet website, as opposed to reading them over the air.  Prior to this rule change, under the FCC’s “Contest Rule” (47 C.F.R. Section 73.1216), broadcasters that advertised … Continue Reading

FTC and YouTube Channel Machinima Don’t See Eye to Eye

In yet another sign that the FTC is serious about enforcing its now not-so-new Testimonial and Endorsement guides, the agency just reached a settlement with Machinima over an influencers’ campaign designed to promote Microsoft’s Xbox One and several game titles for the console.  And, on a related note, if your company doesn’t already have policies … Continue Reading

FDA Warns About Celebrity Social Media

Kim Kardashian is everywhere. But there were some bumps in the road when she took to social media on behalf of the drug company Duchesnay, Inc. to promote its morning sickness drug Diclegis. On Instagram, Ms. Kardashian breathlessly told her followers “OMG. My morning sickness has been bad. My doctor prescribed me Diclegis, and I … Continue Reading

Payment Processing Alert for Internet Retailers: The October 2015 EMV Shift Will Complicate Your Chargeback Management Efforts

What if your chargebacks increased by 40%, practically overnight?  This is one estimate by payments industry experts of the potential impact on card-not-present (CNP) merchants that could result from the October 2015 shift to EMV chip technology in the U.S. market.  Payments companies are worried that many CNP merchants, including Internet retailers, aren’t prepared to … Continue Reading

Age-Gating Your Website: Do Not Make it a Scandal

‎”Gates” as scandals probably started with Watergate but many other embarrassments followed suit with a similar gating moniker. Nipple-gate or Janet Jackson’s Superbowl wardrobe malfunction, Zoe Baird’s Nanny-gate are just a few. Age-gating your website to make sure it is COPPA-compliant should not give rise to messy press and finger-pointing. ‎Web designers and marketers need … Continue Reading

Website Owners: No Safe Harbor from Copyright Liability for Infringing Content Posted by Third Parties on Your Site If You Are Not Following DMCA Formalities

Did you know that, under the U.S. copyright law, if a third party uploads or posts copyrighted material to your website, and the third party did not have authorization to do so from the copyright owner or exclusive licensee of that material, your organization can be held strictly liable for copyright infringement as the operator … Continue Reading

Court Attempts to Smooth out ROSCA Violations

As we’ve mentioned before, and as this year is unfolding, it looks like the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) is even more desperate to enforce the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (“ROSCA”) than we are to find good skin care products.  The FTC has begun expanding its enforcement of ROSCA into various industries, including now the … Continue Reading

Don’t Doom Your Crowdfunding Project with the FTC: Keep Your Promises

The crowdfunding world got a bit more crowded this week–from a legal perspective, at least–when the Federal Trade Commission entered the fray with its first crowdfunding case against a project creator and his allegedly deceptive Kickstarter® Campaign.  The FTC announced Monday on its website that it took action under Section 5 of the FTC Act … Continue Reading

FAQ Series 1: FTC Issues New Guidance on Endorsements and Related Online Disclosures

When preparing to run advertising that includes endorsements, our clients frequently ask whether any “magic words” are necessary and how disclosures should be made on space-constrained forums such as Twitter.  On May 29, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) staff announced it had addressed some of these questions by updating the FAQs to its Guides … Continue Reading

FTC Leads Charge Against Deceptive Affiliate Marketing Tactics

In recent years, affiliate marketing has emerged as a profitable medium to generate interest in a merchant’s products or services, with affiliate marketers often earning huge payouts for generating leads or sales for merchants.  The FTC has taken notice, filing a number of actions against affiliate marketers for violations of Section 5 of the FTC, … Continue Reading

ESPN’s Fantasy Fulfilled? Network Reportedly Nearing Purchase of Significant Stake in Fantasy Sports Site DraftKings

While March Madness has cooled down, the news around fantasy sports keeps heating up.  We recently wrote about the National Advertising Division (NAD) decision in the dispute between the two leading daily fantasy sports sites, DraftKings and FanDuel.  ESPN is reportedly in talks with DraftKings to invest $250 million in the company.  For years, the … Continue Reading

FTC Throws the Works at iWorks and Obtains Partial Summary Judgment on Online Advertising Issues

Last week, the United States District Court for the District of Nevada granted partial summary judgment for the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) against Jeremy Johnson and a number of related corporate entities collectively referred to as “iWorks,” offering a glimpse into how the FTC and the courts analyze certain online advertising issues. The FTC first … Continue Reading

Social Networking and Reputation Service Website Jerked to a Halt by the FTC

Last week, the FTC issued an Order and summary decision against the owners of Jerk.com, an “anti-social network” website for deceiving users about the source of the website’s content.  The website invited users to create profiles of other users and rate the users profiled as “jerk” or “not a jerk.” In a twist of fate, … Continue Reading

Fantasy League Competitors Battle on the NAD Court for Decision Over Who Can Claim “Largest US-Based Website”

We love a good March Madness legal blog (see here and here and here)  and NAD gave us some great fodder this month deciding a case between two large daily fantasy sports league websites.   This one wasn’t exactly an upset like so many of the games this year leading to the Sweet 16.   DraftKings claimed … Continue Reading

BBB Updates Advertising Code to Keep Pace with Technology

The Better Business Bureau (BBB), known for being the home of NAD, CARU and other advertising self-regulatory forums, is now also the proud owner of an updated advertising code.  The BBB announced earlier this month significant updates to its Code of Advertising for the first time since 1985 (when the number one single was “Careless … Continue Reading

FTC Doesn’t Win Them All

We’ve noted before that the FTC has been increasingly aggressive in pursuing a perceived wrong doing and has had a fair amount of success in court in those efforts. The FTC, however, does not win them all. Late last year, the FTC suffered a rare denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction involving a … Continue Reading

The FTC Speaks Softly But Carries a Big Stick – Do Paid Search Terms Go Under the Microscope?

Are paid search terms about to receive a lot more Federal Trade Commission (FTC) attention?  That’s the question you could be asking after the FTC last week announced a settlement with Nourish Life LLC.  Defendants marketed a dietary supplement called Speak that contains among other things omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E and vitamin … Continue Reading
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