The new Advertising Law Tool Kit, a coalition for better ads, and more in this edition of Advertising Law News & Analysis

5 min


Download Venable's Advertising Tool Kit Today

This week Venable published the expanded and updated fifth edition of its Advertising Law Tool Kit. The Tool Kit is a handy desk reference designed to help in-house counsel and marketers identify and mitigate common advertising law issues. In addition to newly added topic areas, the fifth edition also includes the new "Be Prepared" sections, which provide overviews on how to address Lanham Act litigation, state attorney general inquiries, and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigations. The Tool Kit is viewable online and can be downloaded to your computer or mobile device, or printed.

Access the Tool Kit now.

Click here if you would like to receive a printed copy of the Tool Kit.


Venable Helps Launch Coalition for Better Ads

On September 15, 2016, the Coalition for Better Ads was launched at dmexco in Cologne, Germany. The Coalition will leverage consumer insights and cross-industry expertise to develop and implement new global standards for online advertising.

Venable attorneys Stuart P. Ingis and Tara Sugiyama Potashnik facilitated the convening of the Coalition, which is comprised of several trade associations and companies in the online media ecosystem, to commence an industry-wide effort to address challenges posed by commercial ad blockers that could result in threatening the ad-supported Internet. The Coalition's primary initiatives will begin with the development of consumer-based, data-driven standards that participants in the advertising and media community can employ to improve the consumer ad experience worldwide.

"The advertising industry's commitment to the development and promotion of standards will benefit consumers through supporting quality content on the Internet for years to come," said Ingis, in the Coalition's press release.

Read the press release announcing the formation of the Coalition.

Learn more about the Coalition.


Time to Strengthen Your Social Media Disclosure Standards

Endorsements have always been one of the most powerful advertising techniques, write Venable partners Jeffrey D. Knowles and Leonard L. Gordon in the September edition of the DRMA Voice. In today's world, where consumers are bombarded with marketing messages and have become better than ever at tuning them out, few endorsers are as effective as paid social media influencers.

However, social media influencer marketing also has, at least in the eyes of the FTC, a disclosure problem. After a number of enforcement actions against brands for not ensuring the influencers with whom they worked made adequate disclosures about the relationship, the FTC may be preparing to pursue an enforcement action against a paid social media influencer.

Read the full post to learn what brands and social media influencers must do to ensure their activities meet the FTC's expectations.

California Finalizes New Prop 65 "Clear and Reasonable Warnings" Regulation

On August 30, California's Office of Environmental Health Hazzard Assessment (OEHHA) finalized new regulations for "Clear and Reasonable Warnings" under the state's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65), write Todd A. Harrison, Michelle C. Jackson, Claudia A. Lewis, Daniel S. Silverman, Allison D. Foley, and Matthew S. Poliner in a recent client alert.

Proposition 65 requires businesses with 10 or more employees give a clear and reasonable warning to individuals before knowingly and intentionally exposing them to a chemical listed (by OEHHA) as known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. The new regulations retain the "safe harbor" concept by giving a business the opportunity to use warning methods and content that OEHHA has deemed "clear and reasonable," or, in the alternative, to use another warning method that is clear and reasonable under this regulation. The compliance deadline for the new regulations is August 30, 2018.

Learn how the new regulations will address a perceived lack of specificity with the safe harbor warnings, and account for new technologies.

Seventh Circuit: TCPA Is Not a Fee-Shifting Statute

Recently, there have been numerous cases dismissed because plaintiffs have treated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) like a business opportunity rather than as a consumer protection statute. Over the past several months, several courts have reined in plaintiffs' counsel when it comes to their attorneys' fees. Such is the case in a recent Seventh Circuit decision, where the court held that the TCPA does not shift attorneys' fees or create common funds, write Venable attorneys Daniel S. Blynn and Samuel D. Boro in a recent post to Venable's advertising law blog.

Read the full post to learn why litigants should be mindful of this case when structuring TCPA settlements.

Learn about recent, significant TCPA litigations by reading this Venable-compiled list.

Upcoming Events:

Subscription Summit

September 21-22, 2016 | Detroit, MI

The Subscription Summit is the first and only conference devoted exclusively to those who work in or alongside the subscription box industry. Join industry leaders, subscription box founders, and Venable attorneys to network and learn more about this rapidly growing industry.

Food and Drug Law Institute Conference

September 22, 2016 | San Francisco, CA

Join Venable partner Todd Harrison at the Food and Drug Law Institute conference in San Diego this fall. Todd will be speaking at the Introduction to Food Law and Regulation Course: Understanding How the Government Regulates the Food Industry, discussing the Federal Trade Commission's role and statutory authority regarding food advertising and the elements of claims substantiation.

SupplySide West

October 4-8, 2016 | Las Vegas, NV

Venable will be the Official Legal and Regulatory Partner at this year's SupplySide West Global Expo & Conference. This conference focuses on the exploration, discovery, innovation, and marketing strategy around the development of finished consumer goods in the animal nutrition, beverage, cosmetics, dietary supplements, sports nutrition, food, and pharmaceutical industries. Venable's Todd Harrison and Sen. Mark Pryor will participate in a Workshop panel on "State Attorneys General: Communication & Mitigation Strategies." Be sure to visit us at our offices directly in front of the SupplySide West registration entrance in the Expo Hall holding area!


October 5-7, 2016 | Chicago, IL

The Lend360 conference offers the entire spectrum of the online lending industry, including valuable industry information and targeted networking opportunities. Venable associate Alexandra Megaris will be moderating a panel discussion on "The Future of Online Advertising and Marketing for Consumer and Business Lending" on Thursday, October 6th, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. CT.