Data protection post Brexit, how not to make an Olympic marketing mistake, and more in this issue of Advertising Law News & Analysis

3 min


Keep Calm and Carry On: Data Protection Post Brexit

The Brexit decision sent shockwaves through world financial markets and will likely bring years of future uncertainty around data protection issues, including the legal mechanisms for data transfer to countries outside of the United Kingdom (UK), write Venable partners Stuart P. Ingis and Milo W. Cividanes in a recent post to the firm's advertising law blog.

Ingis and Cividanes, who head Venable's internationally acclaimed Privacy and Data Security practice, outline the likely short, medium, and long-term implications of the Brexit decision on international data flows. They also discuss specific considerations for companies with UK subsidiaries, companies that use their UK subsidiary as an entry point to the EU, and what new factors companies should consider as they prepare for the 2018 implementation of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Read the full blog post to learn how Brexit may impact your business.

Don't DQ Your Brand by Going for the Gold

As excitement builds for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, advertisers of all sizes will be tempted to use the "Games" or the "Olympics" to promote their products, services, and agendas, write Venable attorneys Po Yi and Jessica Borowick in a recent post to the firm's advertising law blog. But the United State Olympic Committee and International Olympic Committee zealously protect their brands. Using Olympic trademarks or simply referring to the Olympics in marketing can be a minefield, even for "official" sponsors.

Don't bench your brand by trying to leverage this summer's games to earn a little gold. Read Yi and Borowick's blog post to learn how to develop a winning marketing strategy that stays out of the USOC and IOC's brand protection crosshairs.

"Up To" No Good

A recent National Advertising Division (NAD) decision provided an opportunity for the self-regulatory forum to once again opine on the standard for performance-related "up to" claims – this time related to energy efficiency, a topic that is becoming more prevalent.

In this case, the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) challenged several claims Applegate, an insulation marketer, made about its cellulose insulation, write Venable partners Randy Shaheen and Amy Mudge in a recent post to the firm's advertising blog. Among other things, NAIMA challenged Applegate's energy savings claims. NAD concurred because the evidence didn't show that the claims held true for an appreciable number of consumers – a strict standard enforced by the NAD.

Read the full blog post to learn more about NAD's standard for "up to" claims, which raises the possibility that an energy claims advertiser might satisfy the NAD, but still face Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulatory scrutiny.

Hit the Trifecta at the Track, not at the FTC

The FTC hates few things more than deceptive claims about dietary supplements, deceptive certification or seal programs, and so-called "fake news" websites that look like editorial content, but are actually advertisements. When a company hits that trifecta, writes Venable partner Leonard L. Gordon in a recent post to Venable's advertising law blog, you can expect the FTC to come knocking.

Last month, the FTC sued SmartClick Media and its principal alleging that the "Doctor Trusted" seal and advertorial websites the company used to market nutraceuticals, as well as the claims used to promote the nutraceuticals, were deceptive. From the seal program's at best cursory doctor reviews to the hard-to-find disclosures accompanying advertorial content, the FTC contends that SmartClick is a stellar example of "how not to do it."

Read the full blog post to learn what lessons the SmartClick case holds for nutraceutical marketers, as well as any marketers who use "seals of approval" or advertorial content to market their products.