Venable partner Randal M. Shaheen was quoted in a May 15, 2015 Advertising Age article on legal issues surrounding the military paying professional sports teams to salute troops. By not disclosing such agreements, these endorsements may violate Federal Trade Commission guidelines. The FTC says advertising that is not obviously advertising must be disclosed.
"From an FTC standpoint, it's pretty grey," said Shaheen adding that the military could argue that the FTC rules do not apply in these situations. "The government could say, 'We are not trying to sell anything here. We are just trying to get people to be patriotic, to have pride in those who serve their country. We are not trying to get people…to buy something.'" Regardless, he said, "the government obviously is not going to go after itself."