Why brands should kiss and tell, consumer protection is a small world, and more in this issue of Advertising Law News & Analysis

3 min

Why Brands Must Kiss and Tell

The popularity of influencer marketing — where brands work with individuals who shape opinions in a specific market or community — is only growing with brands. However, issues such as the disclosure of an influencer's relationships with a brand are often overlooked as marketers clamor to leverage that influencer's clout. "The biggest threat to brands is a lack of consumer trust," said Venable partner Amy Mudge in a recent ANA magazine article about the rise of influencer marketing. "That's why marketers have to make sure their influencers are disclosing [their] connections [to brands]."

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It's a Small World After All

If you think the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the only regulator paying attention to online endorsements and reviews, guess again, writes Venable partner Amy Mudge in a recent blog post. According to a recent FTC press release, 10 of the 60 countries that participate in the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN) have taken actions related to online endorsements and reviews since the Network released the ICPEN Roadmap in June 2016.

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Can Employers Stay Out of the Weeds?

Although marijuana use remains illegal under federal law, 29 states – beginning with California in 1996 – have legalized medical marijuana. Of those states, write Venable attorneys Doug Mishkin and Janice Gregerson in the August edition of the DRMA Voice, only 10 explicitly prohibit employers from terminating or penalizing employees for using medical marijuana. This means that in most states that allow the use of medical marijuana, employers have no duty to accommodate an employee's use of medical marijuana. However, after a recent Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision, that ground may be shifting. 

Eight Venable Ad Attorneys Earn Best Lawyers Honors

On August 15, Venable announced that 90 of the firm's attorneys, including eight of its advertising attorneys, are recognized in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. The Venable partners honored in the advertising category include Roger Colaizzi, Gary Hailey, Stu Ingis, Jeff Knowles, Amy Mudge, Randy Shaheen, and Po Yi. In addition, Venable partner Claudia Lewis is recognized in the FDA Law category.

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From the Tool Kit

Brands increasingly view social media as an opportunity to have influencers pitch their products and services, but social media endorsements can also create significant legal risk. In the most recent edition of the firm's Advertising Law Tool Kit, Venable partner Randy Shaheen provides best practices and strategies marketers can use to mitigate the risk of such campaigns.

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