October 20, 2014 - 8:00 AM - 5:15 PM ET

Bridging the Gaps: An Advertising Law Symposium Hosted by Venable LLP

This event has already occurred.
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
780 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

In today’s challenging economy, rapidly evolving advertising landscape, and age of hyper-connectivity, more and more advertisers are looking for that competitive advantage. Companies are turning to cutting edge or comparative claims, native advertising, social and digital media, celebrity endorsements, and other creative channels to engage with consumers, build brand awareness, and drive the bottom line. However, these efforts can just as quickly turn into a legal quagmire, with competitor or class action litigation or regulatory investigations all threatening to undo your hard-earned marketplace success.

Keep abreast with each of these areas as you hear from seasoned litigators and top representatives from key regulatory enforcement bodies. This invitation-only, MCLE-accredited program promises to be a stimulating educational forum to exchange ideas, engage in strategic thinking, and network with regulatory insiders and top advertising law thought leaders.

Please click to view speaker bios or to register for this symposium. Complimentary breakfast and lunch will be served.

In addition, guests are invited to the firm’s one-year anniversary celebration of our San Francisco office at the Press Club. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served. This event immediately follows the Advertising Law Symposium.

* This activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 6.5 hours, of which 1 hour applies to ethics credit and 6.5 hours applies to the general credit requirement, and by the State Bar of New York in the amount of 6.5 credit hours, of which 1 hour applies to ethics and professionalism requirement and 6.5 credit hours can be applied toward the areas of professional practice requirement. Venable certifies this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California and State Bar of New York, which govern minimum continuing legal education. Venable is a State Bar of California and State Bar of New York approved MCLE provider. This program is appropriate for both experienced and newly admitted attorneys.


8:00 AM – 8:30 AM




8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

Eggs and Ethics (Concurrent Session)


  • Kawana King, Associate Product Counsel
    at Google
  • Carol Langford, Professor at University of San Francisco
  • Robert Hawley, Deputy Executive Director, California State Bar
  • Kimberly Culp, Venable LLP

Like other advertisers, lawyers are increasingly turning to social media to promote their services.  Lawyers are seeking “recommendations” on LinkedIn, turning to “deal of the day” coupons, and entering the blogosphere.  Attorney advertising must comply not only with the general legal principles, but it is also highly regulated by state bar requirements.

Join us as we explore legal issues surrounding a lawyer’s use of social media, and learn how to dip your toe into the social media waters without creating ethical waves.



8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

Challenging a Competitor’s Advertising (Concurrent Session)


  • Randall Shaheen, Venable LLP
  • Roger Colaizzi, Venable LLP

In this increasingly competitive environment, a competitor’s advertising may cross the line.  Learn from our panel of business and legal leaders as they discuss the pros and cons of different legal strategies, including a Lanham Act challenge, the NAD or filing a regulatory complaint.



9:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Litigating Class Certification Advertising Class Actions (Mock Hearing)


  • Honorable Marilyn Hall Patel (retired), U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • Tina Wolfson, Ahdoot & Wolfson, PC
  • Angel Garganta, Venable LLP
  • Daniel Silverman, Venable LLP

For advertisers, consumer class action litigation is an ever-present risk and virtually a cost of doing business.  The class certification decision is often the critical point at which either plaintiffs or defendants declare victory.  If a class is certified, advertiser defendants will often settle rather than risk class-wide damages at trial.  If certification is denied, the case is effectively over.  Our experienced panel will first discuss recent developments in class certification law, and then present a mock class certification hearing argued by a prominent plaintiffs’ class action lawyer and a Venable class action defense specialist, and presided over by a distinguished retired federal district judge.



10:45 AM – 11:00 AM




11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

The Regulatory Road Ahead


  • Yan Fang, Attorney, FTC, Western Regional Office
  • Michael Elisofon, Deputy Attorney General, Consumer Law Section, Office of California Attorney General
  • Leonard Gordon, Venable LLP
  • Michael Signorelli, Venable LLP

2014 has been a busy year for regulators as they tackle tough issues such as astroturfing, telemarketing, negative options, online disclosures, green marketing, and data breaches. Curious what everyone will be talking about next year?
We’ve brought together a panel of regulatory heavyweights who will weigh in on what they see as the hot topics and enforcement priorities for 2015 to help you stay ahead and off the regulatory radar.



12:00 PM – 1:15 PM

Lunch Keynote

Keynote Speaker:

  • Ross Hoffman, Director of Brand Strategy US, Twitter




1:15 PM – 2:00 PM

Branded Entertainment in the Digital Age


  • Gabriel Martinez, Advertising Counsel, The Clorox Company
  • Po Yi, Venable LLP

Brands are no longer just passive participants in the development and distribution of content, where they buy advertising in programs produced, owned and distributed by media companies. Increasingly, brands are actively directing what content gets produced and where and how it's distributed to advance their marketing agenda. The quality of such branded content, both in entertainment value and production quality, is comparable to content that is produced by media companies without any brand involvement, as more and more talent and companies from the entertainment community are willing to partner with brands to create original content. This panel will explore business and legal issues that arise in connection with the creation and distribution of such branded content, and practical ways to address them.



2:00 PM – 2:45 PM

Navigating Your Way Through Social Media


  • Laura Brett, Staff Attorney, National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus
  • Amy Mudge, Venable LLP


From Twitter and Pinterest to Vine and SnapChat, it seems social media changes faster than the weather. Many of the principles relating to false or misleading advertising have been around since the dawn of television, yet applying them as new advertising and marketing media develops is not always easy. How do you make effective disclosures, how do you distinguish native advertising from editorial content, and how do you control content that goes viral or third parties that blog or otherwise promote your products through social media?  These are just a few issues advertisers face in a rapidly changing social media world and that will be discussed during this timely panel.



2:45 PM – 3:00 PM




3:00 PM – 3:45 PM

Health Related Marketing Claims for Food and Dietary Supplements


  • Todd Harrison, Venable LLP
  • Claudia Lewis, Venable LLP

Is it time for a check-up on your health-related food and dietary supplement claims?  Americans are increasingly health conscious when it comes to what they eat.  Terms like gluten, natural, lactose and GMO have become part of our daily conversations and marketers have rushed to promote the health benefits of their products.  Join our panel of experts as they discuss the quickly changing legal issues that surround the marketing of foods and dietary supplements with health-related claims.



3:45 PM – 4:30 PM

Using “Gamification” and Gaming in Consumer Promotions: What’s the Buzz?

  • Sheila Jambekar, Senior Counsel, Zynga
  • Melissa Steinman, Venable LLP


One of the hottest trends in online and mobile promotions is the use of games to attract and keep consumer attention; with the liberalization of enforcement policy in the US, some companies are even looking at launching their own gambling and fantasy sports apps.  It’s important to understand the law in this area, though, to prevent what may be a legal sweepstakes or contest from crossing over into illegal gambling and ensure compliance with state and federal gambling and consumer laws.  Such games may also involve the use of virtual currencies, triggering complex issues banking, tax, and other issues.  And the social or mobile platform used for the game may add additional complexity from a regulatory and practical standpoint.  This panel will address the myriad of issues implicated by the gamification trend, reviewing in-depth examples of how companies integrate gamification into their sweepstakes and promotions.



4:30 PM – 5:15 PM

B2B Service Providers in the Crosshairs – A Look at How Today’s Regulatory Landscape Affects Relationships Between Merchants and the Companies that Support Them


  • Ellen Traupman Berge, Venable LLP
  • David Morgan, Chief Revenue Officer, Performline
  • Jonathan Ellman, Sr. Vice President, Regulatory Compliance and Government Affairs, Vantiv

Third party service providers – including advertising and marketing companies, lead generators, affiliate networks, call centers, and payment processors – increasingly must contend with scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, state Attorneys General, competitors, and customers.  This heightened scrutiny and associated risk demands an emphasis on increased due diligence, monitoring, and overall compliance by companies that help generate leads and provide other front-end support to retailers all the way through to call centers, payment processors, and fulfillment houses on the back-end.   Learn the latest on how investigations and lawsuits are focusing in on service providers, viewed as “choke points” in a retailer’s operation, and what these developments mean for legal and business relationships between merchants and their service providers.



5:30 PM

Networking Reception


Please join us as we celebrate the one-year anniversary of our San Francisco Office

The Press Club
20 Yerba Buena Lane
San Francisco, CA

Click here for more information on Venable’s San Francisco office.