Calling all #influencers: that promotional post may attract more attention than you bargained for with your brand if you fail to use required disclosures. With several enforcement actions against companies, assistance from Instagram’s new paid partnerships tool, and the first ever complaint directly against social media influencers, the Federal Trade Commission has made it clear that they are fed up with deceptive endorsements.
In the world of social media, friends and followers are valuable. It is not always easy, however, to convey the right message in 140 characters or less. More importantly, the message being conveyed and the way that it is sent to consumers may still be monitored by not only the social media website, but also by regulators and competitors. Our practice has experience with social media marketing campaigns. We have assisted clients with creating promotions that launch through social media websites, as well as assisted social media websites with their terms and conditions. With this ever-evolving area, we are here to assist our clients by helping them to comply with the various regulations surrounding this area and, in the end, to make “friends.”
An online retailer and its president recently pled guilty to a price-fixing conspiracy for customized promotional products that was implemented through text messaging and social media platforms. The successful prosecutions are the latest in the Department of Justice’s ongoing antitrust investigation into the online promotional products industry.
Instagram has a message for social media Influencers: the Wild West is coming to an end. The popular photo-sharing platform is rolling out a new tool that will make it easier to tag and track paid commercial content. The tool offers a potential replacement for the much loathed “#ad” disclosure, but it also signals a coming crackdown on Influencer posts.
Social media disclosures may cause heart palpitations for advertisers and copywriters, but the Federal Trade Commission isn’t backing down. A recent settlement involving Lord & Taylor provides another important reminder that the FTC is scrutinizing social media campaigns and that proper disclosures are required, even if you only have 140 characters to do it in.
Partner Sarah Bruno is featured as a potential panelist at SXSW 2016 for a discussion that would focus on the latest in ad law, new tech, and social media.
The panel, which also features, Andrew Udin of Publicis, Brian Heidelberger of Winston & Strawn, and Marc Yudkin of Vayner Media will address:
What’s the News?
Tinder, a mobile dating application, recently removed an advertising campaign being conducted on the app by Gap, Inc. (Gap). Tinder claimed that the advertisements violated its terms of service, which provide that the app is for “personal use only.” This should serve as a reminder to businesses to read and ensure compliance with the relevant terms of service before engaging in advertising on social media platforms.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a report this week examining the privacy and security implications of the so-called “Internet of Things.” The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the ability of everyday objects to connect to the Internet and to send and receive data. As the number of connected devices has surged in recent years, the FTC has signaled a strong interest in the IoT and repeatedly warned businesses to be mindful of consumer privacy and security when developing new products.
FTC Brings First Case Under Federal Negative Option Law
What’s Making News?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently brought its first case under the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA), a 2010 federal law that prohibits online sellers from charging consumers in an Internet transaction unless the seller has clearly disclosed all material terms of the transaction and obtained consumers’ express informed consent.
What’s the News?
Thanks to a recently announced change to Facebook’s “Platform Policy,” it will soon become more difficult for companies to get consumers to “like” their Facebook page as part of a promotional campaign. The change will take effect on November 5, 2014.
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