Contests & Promotions

News & Analysis as of

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

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 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

Smart ad disclosures in the social media age

Recent actions by the Federal Trade Commission highlight the need for companies to review the sufficiency of their advertising disclosures. Companies should take particular care when launching an ad campaign using social...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

B.C. Court of Appeal Affirms Refusal to Certify Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act Claims

On June 3, 2015, in Marshall v. United Furniture Warehouse Limited Partnership (Marshall), the B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed the plaintiffs’ appeal from the application judge’s denial of certification of a proposed class...more

Q: What’s Different About the FTC’s New Endorsement Q&As? A: Lots.

The FTC recently released a new version of its Q&As on the Endorsement Guides. The old Q&As, released in 2010, were about seven pages long. The new ones just about double that. The revisions and additions reflect many of the...more

Ironman Promotion Gets ‘Bonked’

For non-triathletes the word ‘bonk’ is when an athlete runs out of energy. In May 2015, the World Triathlon Corporation (Ironman) agreed to forfeit $2,761,910 in lottery proceeds to the United States Attorney’s Office....more

Updated FTC Guidance on Endorsements and Testimonials in Social Media Advertising – Does Your Advertising Pass Muster?

In recent years, companies have increasingly relied on social media platforms to promote their products, often featuring testimonials and endorsements from consumers and public figures as well as other user-generated content....more

Keep Your Eye On The Prize – CAP Issues New Rules For Promotions

As with all forms of marketing communications, under the CAP Code, sales and prize promotions must not mislead, harm or offend their audience. In addition, the promoter must ensure that those who take part are dealt with...more

Five tips for ‘Mega Sponsors’ of sweepstakes and contests

Over the past 18 years, I have been very fortunate to represent several of what I call “Mega Sponsors” of sweepstakes and contests. My definition of a Mega Sponsor is a company that sponsors more than 50 sweepstakes or...more

March Madness: Trade Secrets Claims Block Billion Dollar Bracket

For those of us who revel in this time of year as amateur “bracketologists,” last year’s promise of the billion dollar bracket brought an added lottery-like level of fun to the NCAA basketball tournament. Even though the...more

Online Contests: Make Them Effective by Simplifying the Mechanics

Any good marketing department can tell you that easy-tounderstand contest mechanics are the working engine of an effective online contest. Recently, we have noticed a concerning trend online: Businesses often try to do too...more

No Purchase Necessary: Six Tips for Making Sure Your Online Prize Promotion is not an Illegal Lottery

The Federal Trade Commission’s recent $9.5 million judgment against sweepstakes operator Crystal Ewing is a stark reminder that prize promotions remain fertile ground for regulatory scrutiny both on the state and federal...more

“Surviving” the Madness: Are Paid-Entry Survivor Contests Legal?

The field is set, the brackets are in, and the players are ready. Welcome to March Madness, also known as America’s Least Productive Month. And much to the NCAA’s chagrin, it’s also peak gambling season—the American Gaming...more

FTC obtains $9.5 million judgment against fraudulent sweepstakes operators

On February 11, 2015 the Federal Trade Commission announced that it had accepted a $9.5 million settlement in a case brought against a sweepstakes operator for violating a previous FTC order. The settlement also permanently...more

Social Media: 10 Fundamental Questions All Businesses Should Consider About Their Online Presence

Twenty years ago, the social media world we now live in was the stuff of science fiction. Today, social media is a critical business tool creating unprecedented opportunities for direct consumer interaction, brand awareness,...more

Federal Law Changed to Allow Financial Institutions to Offer Savings Promotion Giveaways

Recent federal legislation paves the way for financial institutions in New York State to start offering promotions on savings accounts beginning September 23, 2015....more

UGC Update: Italian Regulators Address User-Generated Content Promotions

The power of user-generated content (“UGC”) as a promotional tool is ubiquitous and well understood; however, global marketers face challenges when trying to approach a campaign from an international perspective. A recent...more

Sweepstakes random drawings: Things a sponsor should know

I am often asked how random drawings should be conducted to select the winners of a sweepstakes. It sounds like a fairly simple request, but like most legal questions, “it depends.” For random drawings, it depends on the type...more

5 Most Popular eMediaLaw Posts of 2014

This was one of the more interesting stories of the year – does the photographer who set up everything to allow for a monkey to take a selfie own the copyright to that selfie?  This year we learned that no, the photographer...more

Consumer Groups Push FTC To Investigate Popular Candy Social Media Contest For Alleged Violations Of COPPA

According to a Request for Investigation filed with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) on December 9, 2014, a coalition of consumer and children’s privacy rights organizations has asked for a federal investigation of the...more

Social media sweepstakes: 10 things you should know

“How did we have sweepstakes before Facebook?” That question, which I heard during a call last week, summarizes the tremendous impact that social media has had on the use of sweepstakes and contests. These promotions are more...more

Advertising Law - December 2014 #3

FCC Proposes Online Disclosures for Broadcast Contests - The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a rule change that would allow broadcast stations to disclose on the Internet the material terms for contests...more

Report from an Energized Brand Activation Association Marketing Law Conference

Ifrah Law is a proud member the Brand Activation Association (“BAA”). This week, we attended the BAA’s 36th annual BAA Marketing Law Conference in Chicago. Just as “Mad Men” reflects the 1960’s era advertising business, this...more

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