Advertising Law News & Analysis - November 5, 2015

3 min


With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Well-known influencers can come from anywhere, write Venable attorneys Randal M. Shaheen, Molly T. Cusson, and Shahin O. Rothermel in a recent post to the firm's advertising law blog. But nowhere has their rise been quite as meteoric as on YouTube. As their audiences and compensation grow, social influencers – and the marketers and advertisers who engage them – face ever-greater scrutiny by regulators.

Read the post to learn why influencers and marketers should be vigilant and ensure that their statements and disclosures are FTC compliant.

FTC Commissioner Talks Hot-Button Issues in Children's Marketing

At last month's National Advertising Division (NAD) Annual Conference, FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny participated in a fireside chat about children's marketing, writes Venable attorney Jessica S. Borowick in a recent post to the firm's advertising law blog. Commissioner McSweeney disclosed that she is an avid follower of the evolution of marketing and advertising to children on social media, and is especially interested in children's apps and the "internet of [children's] things." She also provided insight into the hot-button issues likely to draw regulators' attention.

Read Borowick's blog post to learn more about the kid marketing issues and practices most likely to burn marketers.

Federal-State Operation Collection Protection Announced

Yesterday, federal, state, and local regulators and enforcement agencies announced a national initiative targeting debt collectors. Branded "Operation Collection Protection," the enforcement effort has so far resulted in 115 law enforcement actions against debt collectors engaged in allegedly illegal practices. More than 70 law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Department of Justice, and state attorneys general have participated in the campaign.

Illegal debt collection practices are a top priority for consumer protection watchdogs around the country, and they will continue to pool and leverage their considerable resources to stamp out improprieties‎, write Venable attorneys Jonathan Pompan, Andrew Bigart, and Alexandra Megaris in a recent client alert. The trio have written extensively on the heightened scrutiny of debt collection and debt buying activities, but this time their overall message was clearly broader.

Read the client alert to learn why all companies that seek payment from consumers for accounts receivable should take note, because of the heightened scrutiny of debt collection and debt buying activities.

Read the FTC's announcement of Operation Collection Protection.

Was October a Trick or Treat for Telemarketers?

The proverb "May you live in interesting times" was especially apropos for telemarketers during the past month, write Venable attorneys Jeffrey D. Knowles and Daniel S. Blynn in the November edition of the DRMA Voice. In addition to the ongoing debate around such questions fundamental to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (like "What exactly is an autodialer?"), two October events – a Supreme Court case and a Federal Communications Commission announcement – have the potential to add more spice to telemarketers' lives.

Read the DRMA Voice column to learn how these events could affect the telemarketing industry.

Upcoming Event:

BAA's 37th Marketing Law Conference

November 9-11 | Chicago, IL

Join the nation's leading brands and law firms at the industry's most important marketing and advertising law conference. Panels will be diving into some of the hottest topics in digital and social media; native advertising; domestic and global privacy; sweepstakes, contests, and games; Intellectual Property; Lanham Act and class action litigation; federal, state, and self-regulatory enforcement; and more.

Venable's Melissa Steinman, Amy Mudge, Len Gordon, and Randy Shaheen will be moderating two panels: "The Tricky Business and Law of Loyalty Programs – Gift & Stored Value Cards" and "Defending Against Actual/Potential FTC and Other Regulatory Investigations."

Click here to learn more about BAA and to register to attend.