July 28, 2016

Media buying transparency guidelines, Olympic marketing rules, and much more in this edition of Advertising Law News & Analysis

4 min


ANA Issues Media Buying Transparency Guidelines

Last week the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) published guidelines titled "Media Transparency: Prescriptions, Principles, and Processes for Marketers." The guidelines followed an ANA-commissioned assessment of the media ad buying ecosystem in the United States that found that nontransparent business practices and conflicts of interest are pervasive. ANA's guidelines suggest practices that advertisers and their agencies can adopt to ensure greater transparency.

Read ANA's press release announcing the guidelines.

Read the full text of the guidelines (registration required).


Another Olympic Marketing Rule, a Lot of Confusion

"Rule 40" deserves a gold medal for generating buzz in the advertising world, and a silver for generating confusion, write Venable attorneys Po Yi, Jessica S. Borowick, and Michael S. Isselin in a recent post to Venable's advertising law blog.

The Rule restricts participants in the Olympic Games from allowing their "person, name, picture or sports performances to be used for advertising during the Olympic Games." The Rule covers all marketing tactics, including social media posts, and the advertising blackout period for the Rio 2016 Olympics is from July 27th through August 28th.

Read the post to learn why even an innocent congratulatory tweet by a brand could cause trouble for an athlete and the tweeting brand.

Read Team USA's Rule 40 guidance to participants in the Rio Games.

Defending Trade Secrets Just Got Easier…and Trickier

In performance-based marketing few things are more important – or more difficult – than protecting your intellectual property, write Venable partners Richard J. Frey and Jeffrey D. Knowles in the July edition of Response magazine.

When President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) into law on May 11, it became much easier for a company to protect its trade secrets – the "secret sauce" that drives the business forward. However, DTSA also placed weighty disclosure responsibilities on the shoulders of companies, along with potentially severe penalties for companies that fail to comply.

Read the Response article to learn about the new trade secret protection tools DTSA provides, as well as how to ensure compliance with the Act's disclosure requirements.

Read the full text of the DTSA here.

FTC's Increased Civil Penalties May Be Less than Meets the Eye

There has been a lot of press about the fact that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently increased the civil penalties from $16,000 to $40,000 for each violation of certain trade regulations and final Commission orders, write Venable partners Amy Ralph Mudge and Randal M. Shaheen and summer associate Stephanie Serhan* in a recent post to Venable's Advertising Law Blog.

The increase may have a dramatic impact on violations that tend to be singular in nature, such as antitrust issues. However, when it comes to advertising issues that could potentially generate thousands or millions of alleged violations, the FTC exercises a great deal of discretion in setting the actual amount of any penalty.

Read the full blog post to learn more why advertisers are typically better off focusing on the FTC's discretion rather than focusing on how many violations may have occurred.

Read the FTC's press release about the civil penalties adjustment.

*Stephanie Serhan is a Summer Associate and is not yet admitted to practice law.

Upcoming Events:

Key Trademark and Copyright Developments around the World: Implications for Nonprofits in China, Europe, Cuba, and Beyond

A Complimentary Nonprofit luncheon/Program and Webinar

August 17 | Venable LLP & Webinar

The operations of so many U.S.-based nonprofits extend far beyond our borders these days, often all around the globe. Among other things, this means that U.S.-based nonprofits' trademarks and copyrights are being used in foreign countries where the systems and methods for protecting and licensing this intellectual property are very different from those in the United States. Join Venable partners Jeffrey S. Tenenbaum, Andrew Price, and Justin Pierce as they discuss some of the latest developments in trademark and copyright law and procedures around the globe, and their impact on nonprofits. This will be an invaluable program for nonprofit executives and staff who are tasked with creating, marketing, and/or managing brands and original products worldwide.

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Lead Gen Legal Responsibility and Accountability: A Sit-down

2016 LeadsCon New York Conference

August 23 | The New York Hilton Midtown, New York, NY

Venable partner Jonathan Pompan will moderate a panel discussion on "Lead Gen Legal Responsibility and Accountability" at the 2016 LeadsCon New York Conference. The session will focus on reviewing the use of deceptive advertisements to generate leads, deciphering how sensitive consumer data is stored and whom it is shared with, and understanding whether (and the extent to which) publishers and lead aggregators are liable for end users' legal compliance.

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