International Women's DayI have spent much of last week, when International Women’s Day was held, pondering how I can #BeBoldForChange in a time when working for a more inclusive, gender-equal world has never been more important, at home or abroad. Forgive me as this is not the usual blog on legal developments, but since I have this little blog soapbox, I thought I would exercise it just a bit.

On Wednesday, the actual day of International Women’s Day, I spent a wonderful evening in the new Venable DC office at an event honoring the Power of Resilience with an insightful conversation between my partner Stephanie DeLong and Debra Smilley-Wainer, the Senior General Counsel — International at Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS). Later in the evening, I was rocked to my core at the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards honoring women from around the world serving on the frontlines of change, including a Malawai chief who is reversing child marriages and ensuring girls have access to schools, and a digital activist in India using crowd source data to pinpoint and combat sexual violence in India. And I was not alone, of course. The press reports the First Lady spoke about equality and a focus on education for women at a White House lunch honoring International Women’s Day.

Continue Reading Be Bold for Change

As we begin to wind down for the year (and we hope that holds true for you), we wanted to take a moment to thank each of you for your support and to wish you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season and a terrific 2017.  We know that – in this era of

FIFA, the International Federation Soccer Association which is in charge of awarding lucrative World Cup hosting rights and promoting soccer worldwide, has longstanding sponsorship relationships and contracts with some of the largest global corporations. FIFA is supported by hundreds of millions of sponsorship dollars; however, the organization’s sponsorship relationships are being challenged by recent events, and sponsors are making their displeasure with the organization known. The May 27 indictment of nine top FIFA officials by the U.S. Department of Justice for corruption highlights scandals as one of the major risks facing sponsors. Compounding this most recent scandal is the ongoing controversy around conditions in Qatar, the planned site of the 2022 World Cup, where, reportedly, workers helping to build World Cup facilities are dying as a result of unsafe building conditions. After unsuccessfully attempting to distance himself from the scandals, FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, announced his resignation on June 2.
Continue Reading FIFA Fame to Shame – How Brands Can Protect against Potential Reputational Harm Resulting from Relationships with Scandalized Organizations

Brands reinvent and relaunch themselves all the time.  Sometimes with great success — Esso became Exxon, a brand name chosen because it purportedly meant absolutely nothing in the world’s hundreds of different languages; Volkswagen just ran an ad for its iconic Beetle during last week’s Super Bowl; and Martha Stewart reinvigorated her brand after a