Category Archives: Promotions

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FTC Updates FAQs for Endorsement Guides, Offers More Guidance on Social Media and Video Endorsements

The FTC recently revised its “What People are Asking” page, a source of informal guidance relating to the FTC’s Endorsement Guides.  The Endorsement Guides were last revised in 2009.  The FAQ revisions are intended to address current advertising and marketing trends, such as the use of Twitter endorsements, “like” buttons, and uploaded videos. The revisions … Continue Reading

Privacy Groups Ask FTC to Investigate Contest Sponsor for Alleged COPPA Violations

Last week, ten privacy groups requested that the FTC open an investigation into a Topps Co. online contest, which they allege violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Specifically, the groups claim that Topps’s #RockThatRock contest collected photos of children under age 13 without obtaining their parents’ consent. Last spring, Topps invited its Facebook, … Continue Reading

FTC Holds Seminar on Mobile Device Tracking

On February 19, 2014, the FTC hosted a public seminar on mobile device tracking, the first event in the FTC’s Spring Privacy Series on emerging consumer privacy issues.  The seminar included a tutorial on how retail tracking technology works, along with a panel featuring representatives from consumer groups, and the retail, marketing, and technology industries, … Continue Reading

Half-Baked Law

When you think of great resources to learn about promotions laws, you think (we hope) of Ad Law Access, but you might not think of Food Network Magazine. However, the magazine recently ran a story entitled “Half-Baked Law” about a legal issues associated with a baking contest. According to the story, New Jersey resident Sally … Continue Reading

Pinterest Adds Promotions Guidelines to Acceptable Use Policy

Last week, Pinterest added promotions guidelines to their Acceptable Use Policy. According to a post announcing the change, Pinterest will no longer allow promotions that: Suggest that Pinterest sponsors or endorses them or the promotion Require people to Pin from a selection (like a website or list of Pins) Make people Pin the contest rules … Continue Reading

Facebook Eases its Guidelines for Promotions

Yesterday, Facebook made it easier for companies to administer sweepstakes, contests, and other promotions on its platform. Previously, Facebook required that all promotions on the platform be administered through apps. Now, promotions may also be administered on Page Timelines. For example, companies can now: Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like … Continue Reading

Vermont Changes Law on Skill Contests

All states prohibit companies from requiring people to pay money or make a purchase to enter a sweepstakes. Although most states allow companies more flexibility to require a payment or purchase in a skill contest, some states prohibit those requirements, too. Up until now, Vermont was in the latter category. Effective April 26, 2013, nothing … Continue Reading

FTC Closes an Investigation Involving a Social Media Campaign

As we’ve noted in previous posts, if a company provides incentives to a consumer in order to encourage the consumer to promote the company’s products, the consumer is required to disclose those incentives. It’s not just the consumer’s problem, though. The FTC has stated that a company can be held liable for a consumer’s failure … Continue Reading

Pinterest Establishes Business Accounts and Marketing Guidelines

In March, we posted that Pinterest had made changes to its Terms of Service. This month, Pinterest announced new business accounts that are governed by new Business Terms of Service. Pinterest also established Logos, Trademarks, and Marketing Guidelines. Among other things, these Guidelines provide some do’s and don’ts for growing number of companies that run promotions … Continue Reading

Watch Kelley Drye’s “Smartphone Revolution” Webinar On Demand

Mobile marketing, sweepstakes and services, including location-based services, are governed by an alphabet soup of statutes and regulations: TCPA, COPPA, CAN-SPAM, CPNI, etc. To complicate compliance even further, numerous class action lawsuits in state and federal courts have addressed issues and nuances that the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, and state regulatory agencies or … Continue Reading

FCC Determines Radio Station Failed to Comply with Contest Rules

Last year, a CBS radio station in North Carolina ran a “Carolina Cuties” contest in which listeners were invited to submit pictures of their babies on the station’s website. The grand prize winner was be determined by public votes. Although broadcast announcements for the contest stated that voting would end on September 5, 2011, the … Continue Reading

RealNetworks Agrees to Pay $2.4 Million to Settle Free Trial Investigation

The Washington Attorney General recently announced that a settlement with RealNetworks over the company’s free trials. According to the AG, more than 500 consumers had complained to the AG’s office and the Better Business Bureau about unauthorized charges for services they had never ordered. In many cases, consumers who signed up for free trials did … Continue Reading

Planning a Social Media Campaign? Consider These Legal Risks

This five-minute video from the Bloomberg BNA Internet Law Resource Center provides an overview of some of the legal issues companies should consider before they engage in social media. Kelley Drye partner Gonzalo E. Mon discusses the FTC’s view of consumer endorsements, how companies can avoid liability for user-generated content, and options for structuring contests.… Continue Reading

Missouri Attorney General sues Fantasy Sports Operator

The Missouri Attorney General recently filed a suit against Gridiron Fantasy Sports and its owner for allegedly defrauding consumers by failing to award prizes to the winners of fantasy sports leagues. Participants in the fantasy football and baseball leagues were required to pay entry fees for a chance to win prizes. At the end of … Continue Reading

Google+ Opens Up to Companies, But Prohibits Promotions

This week, Google launched Google+ Pages, a place where companies can post content and interact with consumers. In many ways, Google+ Pages is similar to Facebook Pages, but it also includes some unique functionality and integrations with Google’s search engine. Companies that are considering establishing a presence on Google+ should note, however, that Google imposes … Continue Reading

Parties Reach Settlement Over Text-to-Win Sweepstakes

In 2007, several companies offered text-to-win sweepstakes in conjunction with the American Idol, The Apprentice, Deal or No Deal, and 1 vs. 100 television shows. Soon thereafter, plaintiffs filed class action lawsuits arguing that the sweepstakes violated gambling laws in Georgia and lottery laws in California. The Georgia case was decided favorably in 2008, when … Continue Reading

Facebook Issues New Promotions Guidelines

Yesterday, Facebook modified the Guidelines that govern how companies can run or advertise sweepstakes, contests, and other promotions on the Facebook platform. Following is a summary of the key provisions: Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or an app on a Page Tab. You cannot use … Continue Reading
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