Celebrity Endorsements

News & Analysis as of

Air Jordan Grounded in China

Michael Jordan is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time. Beyond his five MVP trophies and six NBA championship rings, however Jordan also was the one of the most widely marketed athletic...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

Olympic Athletes May Get Chance to Sport Sponsors

Taking office amid widespread criticism surrounding Russian anti-gay legislation and the Sochi Winter Games, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach began his leadership in 2013 with reform on his agenda. “It’s...more

Manatt Digital Media - July 2015

In this edition, we reflect upon the key digital media events of the first half of 2015 and present the major deals, developments and trends across video, music, gaming and virtual reality....more

Six Tips for Generating Buzz Without Getting Stung

A good marketing department knows how to generate product “buzz” by leveraging external influencers and promotions. The challenge for the company is to avoid being stung by the FTC’s recently published Endorsement Guides (the...more

Lloyd’s Likeness: A Hat Trick to Superstardom and Mega Endorsements

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last week, you know who Carli Lloyd is. If, however, you do not, she is the reigning World Cup MVP for Team USA. On Sunday, in perhaps the most astonishing World Cup...more

Advertising and Marketing News from Ifrah Law’s FTCBeat.com, Volume 6

Internet Advertising and Marketing Summer Newsletter from Ifrah Law with updates you won't want to miss!...more

Michael Jordan Defends His Right to Remain in Court to Protect His Likeness

On March 19, 2015, Wilson Elser published “Michael Jordan Denied Summary Judgment on His Right of Publicity Claim against Illinois Grocer,” an Alert concerning a case in which Michael Jordan was denied summary judgment on his...more

New Insights from FTC on Its Endorsement Guides to Reflect Continued Focus on Disclosures

After the FTC revised its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials (the “Guides”) in 2009, it followed up with a set of frequently asked questions entitled “What People Are Asking” (the “FAQs”) to address...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

Advertising Law - May 2015 #4

SPECIAL FOCUS: The Impact of the Supreme Court’s Octane Fitness Decision on Lanham Act Litigation - For the second time in recent years, a Supreme Court decision in a patent case is having a major impact on Lanham Act...more

Rights in Bob Marley's name and likeness trump free speech where defence not properly pleaded | World Trademark Review

Fifty-Six Hope Road is a company run by some of Bob Marley's children, and it owns the property rights to Bob Marley's name, voice and likeness. Hope Road licensed Zion Rootswear the exclusive right to use Marley's name and...more

If I Were Paid to Walk in Your Shoes: Protecting a Company's Interests in Endorsement Deals While Still Looking Out for Player...

Chandler Parsons, a forward for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, does not have to worry about buying basketball shoes. Rather, Parsons, like other NBA players, gets paid to wear certain brand name shoes. In February 2014, Chinese...more

Even In The UK, Think Twice Before Using Celebrity Endorsements

A recent legal case in the UK between singer Rhianna and fashion retailer Topshop has highlighted differences between publicity rights in the UK and some US jurisdictions. Rhianna sued Topshop for its sale of a t-shirt...more

Move Over Vanna White, Here Comes Marion Barry’s Kidney

In 2008, former Mayor of Washington, D.C., and then council member Marion Barry became ill with a kidney disease. To survive the illness, Mr. Barry required a kidney transplant, and one of his friends, Ms. Kim Dickens, came...more

Chuck Yeager’s Latest Suit Pulls Out of Nose Dive - Yeager et al. v. Fort Knox Security Products

Over the years, well-known aviation figure and retired United States Air Force general, Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager (Yeager) has been engaged in numerous legal disputes, including several lawsuits that Yeager has filed against...more

Bob Marley’s Heirs Lanham Act Win Upheld - Fifty-Six Hope Road Music v. A.V.E.L.A., Inc.

Addressing the issue of when the use of a celebrity’s likeness or persona in connection with a product constitutes a false endorsement that is actionable under the Lanham Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit...more

Two Rights of Publicity Decisions Explore the Boundaries of Commercial Speech in Commemorating Public Figures

Two recent rights of publicity cases illustrated the parameters of using a public figure’s name, likeness, identity or image for commercial purposes, without consent for commemorative purposes. But when does commemoration...more

Trends, Pitfalls and Opportunities in Celebrity Philanthropy

Athletes and celebrities have a long and storied track record with charitable causes. A celebrity can turn an otherwise unknown cause into a charitable powerhouse simply by lending a high profile name and likeness. Today,...more

Time for Your Close-up: The Right of Publicity in the Social Media Era

Michael Jordan is one of America’s most revered and iconic professional athletes. He spectacularly led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships, was named league MVP for five years and, off the court, reached a...more

Bob Marley and Federal False Endorsement Claims

Since his death in 1981, reggae superstar Bob Marley and his “image” continue to be broadly popular and command millions of dollars each year in merchandising revenue. ...more

Fifty-Six Hope Road Music, Ltd. v. A.V.E.L.A., Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, February 20, 2015

Following jury verdict on Lanham Act claim in favor of entity owned by Bob Marley’s children, Ninth Circuit affirms denial of defendants’ motion for judgment as matter of law, finding that trial evidence supported jury’s...more

Celebrity Endorsements, Online Poker and the FTC

Last week, without much attention, four new regulations affecting online gaming operations in New Jersey became effective under the authority of the Division of Gaming Enforcement. The rules include changes to directives on...more

Dispatch from NYC: Annual National Advertising Division (NAD) Conference is in Full Swing

The National Advertising Division is holding its annual conference this week in New York, and Foley Hoag is in attendance for what many consider to be the leading conference of its kind. Day One saw an impressive line-up of...more

How far can companies leverage the name and image of celebrities when promoting their brand?

It is common to see celebrities, which have captivated the public for decades, photographed using a company product or wearing a branded garment. Using such photos for promoting a company’s brand can be problematic especially...more

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