Category Archives: Advertising

Using the term Natural in food advertising? Products claiming to be ‘au natural’ may need to meet a higher standard

“My food is more natural than your food” lawsuits have been bountiful in the last few years. Following this trend is a “food advertising modernization” bill, HR 3147, introduced by U.S. Representatives Pallone and DeLauro, that would require advertisers who claim their products are ‘All Natural’ to prove that the food does not contain synthesized artificial ingredients that (...) [Read More]

Appropriation of famous logo is trademark infringement? You be the judge.

Banksy on branding. The elusive street artist is seemingly frustrated with his own commercial success. To him great street artists need to remain criminal to keep their art pure. Most appropriation art could violate commercial law but is not criminal, unless it involves a violation of Copyright law’s DMCA. The image above is not a copyright infringement, but is potentially trademark infringement and dilution of (...) [Read More]

Buying a Tweet ad? Avoid FTC scrutiny by following these 3 weird little #Ad rules

You may have heard this before, social media is not exempt from the ad rules regarding testimonials and endorsements. The FTC announced (again) that marketers placing short form ads in social media must comply with three basic truth-in-advertising principles: Endorsements must be truthful and not misleading; If the advertiser doesn’t have proof that the endorser’s (...) [Read More]

Can a celebrity’s post mortem right of publicity enter the public domain?

Banking on a dead celebrity’s right of publicity being public domain is an extremely dangerous advertising practice. Rights of publicity are a suite of legal rights that have developed from invasion of privacy and trademark law since the early 20th Century. There is a web of state and federal laws that can protect dead celebrities– even celebrities from (...) [Read More]

@FTC: Google pays $22M for (unintentional) misrepresentation of privacy practices – no intent required

The FTC hosted a super fascinating Twitter “conversation” following its announcement of the $22 million settlement with Google over its privacy violation in overriding the Safari browser’s privacy settings without notifying users. FTC Department of Enforcement staffers  exchanged tweets with a few privacy-focused Twitter users. Many tweets focused on whether Google intentionally deceived users as to its (...) [Read More]

WWW.[YOUR NAME HERE]

On the heels of the new .XXX top level domain (TDL) that recently began providing internet addresses for adult oriented websites (for a fee), ICANN (the non-profit organization that controls the Internet addressing scheme) released a list of additional applicants for other new top level domains. ICANN voted to begin allowing customized TLD’s in June (...) [Read More]

Social Media Users have the Power to Control their Online Privacy

The Wall Street Journal has an article about Apps this morning.  The paper has done a great job of revealing the so-called seamy underbelly of the online advertising world. Today the theme is that Facebook apps exploit users (and make Facebook million$) by collecting bits and pieces of personal data, details that alone do not (...) [Read More]

When is Advertising Invasive or Just “Creepy”?

Cookies are one of my favorite things.  Usually, this refers to the oatmeal raisin variety rather than those tiny bits of computer code that empower websites to remember a user’s login, keep items in a shopping cart and greet the user by name when she returns.  Warm and fuzzy, right? Sometimes, not so much.  I (...) [Read More]

What is Protected as “Private” Online?

Less than one might  think. Online privacy focuses on the use of personal information and how it is contributed, collected, shared and used by the user and other people and companies providing web services.  “Personally Identifiable Information” (a.k.a. “PII”) is protected by a web of laws – but non-personally identifiable information collected by many websites (...) [Read More]

Google/Facebook/Twitter Blackout to protest SOPA?

Does anyone care what actual consumers want anymore?  The Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) would allow large entertainment and media companies to have ISPs block “foreign” websites that host or display allegedly copyright-infringing materials.  The technology community claims that SOPA, if made law, will end the Internet as we now know it. To illustrate their point,  Wikipedia, (...) [Read More]