Tag Archives: Social Media

NY Attorney General Takes Action Against Fake Online Reviews

This morning, New York Attorney General Schneiderman announced that his office had concluded a year-long undercover investigation into the reputation management industry and the practice of posting fake reviews online. Many search engine optimization (“SEO”) companies offer customers online “reputation management” services. During the investigation, the AG learned that some SEO companies perform these services … 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

Florida AG Announces Settlement Involving Consumer Endorsements

Yesterday, the Florida Attorney General announced that her office had reached a settlement with Lifestyle Lift over the company’s advertising practices. Among other things, the AG alleged that the company used testimonials from consumers who had been compensated by the company, without disclosing the compensation. As part of the settlement, Lifestyle Lift agreed to clearly … Continue Reading

New York Times Article Discusses Potential Liability for Celebrity Endorsements

A recent New York Times article discussed the FTC’s scrutiny of companies who engage celebrities to endorse their products in social media. The article serves as a timely reminder that this form of advertising, unless conducted carefully, can result in liability and monetary penalties for the celebrity and the advertiser. The FTC is concerned that … Continue Reading

FTC Closes Investigation Involving a Social Media Promotion

As we’ve posted before, 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 to make … 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

Questions and Answers on Advertising Law

Over the past year, several companies have entered into high-profile settlements with the FTC over allegations that their products didn’t work as advertised. For example, Skechers agreed to pay $40 million to settle charges that it made unsubstantiated claims about its toning shoes. Although the terms of those settlements provide valuable insights for all advertisers, … Continue Reading

WOMMA Releases New Social Media Marketing Disclosure Guide

This week, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association released an updated version of its Social Media Marketing Disclosure Guide. The Guide is designed to help marketers comply with the FTC’s requirement that individuals clearly disclose any material connection they have to a company whose products or services they review. WOMMA outlines five key responsibilities marketers … Continue Reading

NAD Determines that Pinterest Promotion Needs Disclosures

The NAD reviewed weight-loss success stories on Nutrisystem’s Pinterest board, and determined that the weight-loss claims featured atypical results. As we’ve posted before, the FTC’s Endorsement Guidelines state that if an endorser’s experience does not reflect what consumers will generally achieve, the ad “should clearly and conspicuously disclose the generally expected performance in the depicted circumstances.” … Continue Reading

Free Cup of coffee!* FTC Workshop on Advertising and Privacy Disclosures Explores Dot Com Updates

Last week the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held an information gathering workshop titled “In Short: Advertising and Privacy Disclosures in a Digital World”. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss the need for updated guidance for web and mobile advertisers regarding disclosures and privacy practices. FTC issued the current guidance, known as the “Dot … Continue Reading

Myspace Settles FTC Charges of Misleading and Deceptive Statements in its Privacy Policy

On May 8, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its settlement with social networking service Myspace on charges that it misrepresented its protection of users’ personal information in violation of federal law. Like many of its social media counterparts who were recently the target of FTC enforcement actions, Myspace is charged with espousing strict … 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

Appellate Court Vacates Summary Judgment for Google in Copyright Infringement Suit

Last week the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the ongoing copyright dispute between Viacom and YouTube/Google.  In 2006, Viacom filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Google, alleging that tens of thousands of videos submitted by users and displayed on YouTube violated Viacom’s copyrights, and that Google should be liable for the … Continue Reading

Common Legal Myths and Realities about Pinterest

Although Pinterest launched just two years ago, the site already boasts over 10 million users and a staggering number of page views every day. Both numbers are growing quickly. Companies are paying attention to this rapid growth and — much like the early days of Facebook — many are wondering whether it makes sense to … Continue Reading

5 Privacy Tips for Location-Based Services

The year 2012 is certain to reflect U.S. consumers’ continued love affair with sophisticated smartphones and tablets. One of the driving forces in the popularity of these devices is their ability to run mobile apps using wireless location-based services (LBS). Among other benefits, LBS allow access to real-time and historical location information online – whether … Continue Reading

FTC Closes an Investigation Into a Blogging Promotion

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

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

Avoiding Trouble When Adding an App to the Business Model

The rise of smartphones, wifi hotspots, and high-speed data networks has spurred new technology-based business models and the exponential growth of consumer information online. Chief among new technologies, the use of mobile applications—“apps”—has exploded in the past few years. From near-constant posts on Facebook to attacking the green pigs on Angry Birds, consumers have opened … Continue Reading
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