Communications & Media Art, Entertainment & Sports Consumer Protection

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
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How UK Brands That Use Vlogger Endorsements & Social Media for Marketing Can Stay on the Right Side of the Law

Vloggers have become the reality stars of our times. For an increasing number of social media users, what was once a hobby is now a lucrative career. You may be surprised to learn that Felix Kjellberg (aka “PewDiePie”), a...more

FCC Brings “Contest Rule” into 21st Century with Update

The FCC “Contest Rule,” requires broadcast licensees to disclose on air the material terms of contests that they broadcast. In September, 2015, the FCC updated that rule to permit broadcast licensees to comply with their...more

FCC Updates Contest Rule to Provide Flexibility to Meet Disclosure Requirements

Radio and television stations, as well as their audiences, have reason to celebrate. Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced significant updates to its regulations regarding the disclosure of material...more

FCC Adopts On-Line Contest Rules

The FCC has updated its contest rules to enable broadcasters to post material terms on-line rather than requiring disclosure through over-the-air announcements. Licensees still retain the option to disclose material...more

FTC Continues Enforcing Ad Disclosure Obligations in New Media and Issues a Warning to Advertisers

In December 2014, we noted that the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) settlement with advertising firm Deutsch LA, Inc. was a clear signal to companies that advertise through social media that they need to comply with the...more

Online entertainment network Machinima settles with FTC

California based Machinima, an online entertainment network that promoted Xbox One, has settled an investigation with the FTC surrounding its advertising practices. The FTC alleged that Machinima paid “influencers” to post...more

Blog: Kim Kardashian Drug Endorsement Results in FDA Warning Letter

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (OPDP) issued a Warning Letter this week to Duchesnay, Inc. related to celebrity Kim Kardashian’s social media posts on Instagram, Twitter and...more

FDA Recalls Kim Kardashian’s Post

Last month, Kim Kardashian praised Diclegis, a drug for morning sickness, on her social media accounts. Since Kim doesn’t follow us on social media, we don’t always keep tabs on her. But when her posts raise regulatory...more

Netflix Defeats Video Privacy Class Action

In Mollett, et al. v. Netflix, Inc., No. 12-17045 (9th Cir. July 31, 2015), the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action filed against Netflix, Inc. for alleged violations of...more

New FTC Guidelines for Promoting Products on Social Media

Social media can be used in a multitude of ways for savvy brands to promote their products. A popular approach is providing “celebrity bloggers” with free or discounted items in exchange for a picture, post, tweet or...more

Advertising Law - July 2015 #5

Place Your Bets: Yahoo to Host Fantasy Sports Games - In a new business venture that adds to an ever expanding field, Yahoo announced that it will host daily and weeklong pay-to-play fantasy sports games for cash prizes....more

Advertising Law - July 2015 #3

Harlem Globetrotters Get an Assist From CARU - In a rare loss, the Harlem Globetrotters agreed, at the direction of the Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU), that their age-screening practices for the company's...more

Toward a Grand Unifying Theory of Today’s Tech Trends

As a technology law blogger and co-editor of Socially Aware, I monitor emerging developments in information technology. What’s hot in IT today? Any shortlist would have to include social media, mobile, wearable technology,...more

Predetermined Outcome or Not, Sweepstakes and Slot Machines are Illegal Under California Law

The California Supreme Court recently held that sweepstakes or slot machine “like” games used to promote internet cafes and phone card stores were illegal under the California Penal Code, even if the results are...more

FTC Issues Updated Guidance on Endorsements Compliance

Companies should revisit their policies for influencer programs for compliance with the updated guidance. Online advertising and promotion first attracted the attention of the Federal Trademark Commission (FTC) in 2009....more

8th Circuit Revives Dismissed TCPA Action

On June 8, 2015, the 8th Circuit reversed the Eastern District of Missouri and revived class claims in Golan et al. v. Veritas Entertainment, LLC et al. In Golan, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants—producers of the...more

FTC Clarifies Native and Online Ad Obligations

The FTC, in recent staff statements, has sought to clarify advertisers’ and publishers’ obligations regarding native advertising and social media promotions, particularly regarding when and how to clarify to readers that a...more

Free* to Play Means Only If You Pay

As online gaming companies compete for business, they are offering customers increasingly large incentives to play on their websites, often in the form of deposit bonuses. These deposit bonuses allow players to play with the...more

Advertising Law - June 2015 #2

NFL Scores Victory at Eighth Circuit, $42M Deal With Former Players Upheld - The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the $42 million settlement between the National Football League (NFL) and almost 25,000 former pro...more

Another Round with Pacquiao?

It was inevitable. Following his “Fight of Century” with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on May 2, 2015, Manny Pacquiao has been named in a class action suit filed in Nashville for allegedly defrauding pay-per-view customers. The...more

YouTube Offers Owners Way to Age-Restrict Content

Earlier this year Google launched an app called YouTube Kids, which it describes as offering “popular children’s programming, plus kid-friendly content from filmmakers, teachers, and creators all around the world.” In...more

FTC Answers New Questions About Endorsements and Disclosures

In light of the continued expansion of digital and social media, the FTC has released updated guidance on disclosing endorser relationships. In addition to reiterating its general guidance on when and how disclosures need to...more

Sports Media Rights and the Digital Single Market…is your business ready?

On 6 May 2015 the European Commission (the "Commission") published its strategy for a 'Digital Single Market' for Europe. The Commission's communication outlines its grand vision for a Europe in which 'the free movement of...more

There’s No Such Thing As a Free Sample

Social media allows users to effortlessly communicate globally with nothing more than a few keystrokes. Advertisers have harnessed the power of social media bloggers and incorporated it as a key component of their...more

Apple’s Streaming Music Service Under Investigation

It has been a busy several months for antitrust regulators and the tech giants whose alleged conduct has recently drawn their ire. Just a few weeks ago, Google formally became the subject of a European investigation into its...more

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