A social media influencers advertising law webcast, regulators eyeing loot crates, and more in this issue of Advertising Law News & Analysis

5 min

Social Media Influencers – A Complimentary Advertising Law Webcast

As advertisers increasingly use social media as a platform to reach consumers, influencers who speak positively about a brand's products and services have become a powerful tool. And appropriate disclosures by brands and the influencers they work with have become a hot topic for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In this complimentary webcast, advertisers will hear directly from the FTC about making proper disclosures and other useful guidelines that marketers should keep top of mind.

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hundred dollar bills

With CPSC, It's Not All About the Benjamins

The headlines touting Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) related enforcement provide important insight into what to expect from the CPSC going forward. However, write Venable attorneys Mike Blume, Heather Bramble, and Sameer Sheikh in a client alert, don't be distracted by the size of the civil penalties in these cases. The important story is the requirements of the CPSC-imposed compliance undertakings. And, they write, if the past year has been any indication, the Commission will be very busy in 2018.

Bitcoin in hand

Filthy [Digital] Lucre: Regulators Eye Loot Crates

The rapid growth of cryptocurrencies and new payment technologies is forcing regulators to carefully consider the definitions of currency, value, and money transmission. For video game developers, this trend is creating increased attention on digital currencies, marketplace activities, loot crates, and other monetization mechanics. In a recent client alert, Venable attorneys Andrew Bigart, Kimberly Culp and Chris Boone write that developers should review their policies and processes to ensure compliance with applicable regulatory regimes, including anti-money laundering and money transmission, gambling laws, and escheatment.

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shoes with red soles

Why Louboutin Isn't Seeing Red…Yet

Last week, after a year of litigation, Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) Advocate General Szpunar handed down a nonbinding opinion on the validity of Christian Louboutin's "Red Sole" trademark registration within the European Union. The opinion interprets a previous directive to mean that the red color used on Louboutin shoe soles (Pantone 18 1663TP) cannot be a trademark because it is placed on and merged with the shape of a high-heeled shoe sole, which the opinion says is a functional shape with "intrinsic" and "substantial value" to the shoe.

To those familiar with the Louboutin contrasting red sole trademark in the United States, this may appear to be a major loss for Louboutin. However, Venable attorneys Meaghan Kent and Briana Rizzo write in a recent client alert that there are several reasons not to overstate the significance of this ruling, especially outside the bounds of the EU.

virtual currency

Senate Banking Committee Gets Real About Virtual Currency

Earlier this month, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing on virtual currencies and the role of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in overseeing the virtual currency industry. In a recent blog post, Venable attorney Chris Boone writes that a key takeaway of the hearing was a concern among regulators and Committee members about opportunistic fraud taking place amid the hype around virtual currencies, commonly known as cryptocurrencies, and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

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Advertising Law Tool Kit

From the Tool Kit:

If a company goes to the trouble of drafting terms of use for its digital assets, it should also carefully consider how it would enforce those terms of use. In the most recent edition of the firm's Advertising Law Tool Kit, Venable attorney Kimberly Culp discusses best practices for brands to consider when disclosing terms and conditions and securing affirmative consent from consumers.


Electronic Retailing Association Great Ideas Summit

February 26-28, 2018 | Miami, FL

The Great Ideas Summit is THE place to meet the highest tier of industry influencers and decision-makers, expand your brand reach, grow your competitive intelligence, develop leads, seal deals, and much more. Venable partner Jeff Knowles will moderate the "How to Improve Your Better Business Bureau Rating" panel at 5:00 pm (EST), which will be followed immediately by the Venable-sponsored opening reception.

Investing in Compliance as a Strategy to Prevent or Resolve Government Investigations

March 1, 2018 | New York, NY

As we begin a new year, several questions regarding the enforcement priorities of government agencies remain unanswered: Will the still-new administration cut back on enforcement? Will state attorneys general pick up any slack? These questions are important, but don’t get caught flatfooted as you ponder them.

Venable attorneys Michael Blume, Len Gordon, Doreen Martin, and Alexandra Megaris—each of whom has vast experience managing government investigations and enforcement actions from within and outside the government—will discuss specific, effective, and proven strategies for enhancing your organization's compliance systems. Our speakers have guided companies and individuals through critical investigations brought by the FTC, state attorneys general, DOJ, CFPB, FDA, Department of Education, Department of Labor, and other state and federal bodies. The panelists will discuss how the government views compliance policies, programs, and systems; how such programs can be presented to a regulator; and, of course, how to incorporate best practices into a robust compliance management system.


Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance Seminar: Advertising Law in the United States and Around the Globe

March 14, 2018 | New York, NY

Join Venable and GALA for panel discussions on influencer marketing, global sweepstakes, and best practices for running a global campaign with a network of international attorneys. CLE credit will also be offered during the two-hour session.