Canada's new influencer disclosure guidelines, a tri-lateral product safety commission, and more in this issue of Advertising Law News & Analysis

4 min


Canada Introduces New Influencer Disclosure Guidelines

In late March, Ad Standards, Canada's advertising self-regulation body, introduced a draft version of new Disclosure Guidelines. Developed with the cooperation of influencers and advertisers, the Guidelines are intended to provide suggested best practices for when and how to disclose any material connection between an advertiser or brand and the influencer. In a recent guest post on Venable's advertising law blog, Catherine Bate, a partner with the Canadian law firm Miller Thomson, explains the changes made in the draft version of the Guidelines.

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Stakeholders Will Determine Success of Tri-lateral Product Safety Initiative

In February 2018, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Department of Health of Canada, and the Consumer Protection Federal Agency of the United Mexican States signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding (MOU) committing the agencies to increased cross-border cooperation. As a follow-up to the MOU, the CPSC hosted the 4th North America Consumer Product Safety Summit on May 3 and 4, 2018, at CPSC headquarters. Immediately following the summit, the three agencies issued a press release listing areas in which they have committed to work together. In a recent blog post, Venable partners Heather Bramble and Jeff Weiss write that for significant trilateral progress on consumer safety issues, North American stakeholders must proactively engage with all three governments.

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Are Your Diversity Initiatives Trade Secrets?

In February, IBM sued a former executive who went to work for Microsoft, alleging that she breached her non-compete agreement and misappropriated trade secrets. Given the parties involved, you might assume that the trade secrets at issue were source codes or algorithms, write Venable attorneys Doug Mishkin and Lillian Reynolds in a recent blog post. In fact, they were IBM's diversity initiatives, strategies, and data. Although the case settled before the hearing on IBM's application for injunctive relief, it is notable as the first case, the authors believe, in which an employer sought to protect its diversity initiatives, strategies, and data as protectable trade secrets. However, attempting to protect such initiatives as trade secrets may give rise to several unintended consequences.


From the Tool Kit:

Brands love how social media influencers cut through the noise to deliver brand messages to consumers, but the FTC has been and remains concerned about the proper disclosure of material connections between brands and influencers. In the most recent edition of the firm's Advertising Law Tool Kit, Venable partners Amy Mudge, Randy Shaheen, and Melissa Landau Steinman discuss best practices brands should implement to ensure that campaigns, and the influencers who participate in them, make proper disclosures.


Running Social Media & Online Contests: What's Legal, What's Not

May 14, 2018 | Online

While running a contest or sweepstakes may seem like standard procedure to your clients, digital formats can pose new legal risks brands may not have faced in the past. During this 90-minute webinar presented by the National Constitution Center, Venable partner Melissa Steinman will discuss the laws that apply to sweepstakes, contests, and promotions in the U.S.; rules for running social promotions; and how new FTC enforcement policies, cases, and guidelines could affect your plans.


May 16-17, 2018 | Tribeca 360 and Rooftop, New York, NY

Venable counsel Alexandra Megaris will moderate a session, "The Chief Compliance Officer Perspective," at COMPLY2018, The RegTech and Compliance Conference, on May 17, 2018 from 8:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. ET. During this session, guests will learn from three prominent chief compliance officers (CCOs) practical approaches to the challenges and changes arising from new technologies. A few of the challenges faced by CCOs that will be discussed include third-party risks, new regulations, global expansion, and ever-changing regulatory environments. Learn how CCOs are overcoming these competing demands to keep their organizations ahead of risk while staying ahead of the competition. Use the discount code VENABLE20 for 20% off the current ticket price when you register for this event.

How Blockchain Is Changing the Entertainment Industry

May 22, 2018 | Los Angeles, CA and online

Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are creating buzz and excitement in Hollywood and in the economy in general. Venable attorneys Chris O'Brien and Shane Nix will host a panel discussion exploring what companies are doing with blockchain technology and how it is already affecting film, TV, music, and digital entertainment and media.

ERA Government Affairs Fly-In and ERSP Summit

May 23, 2018 | Venable LLP, Washington, DC

The regulatory landscape for direct-to-consumer marketing is rapidly evolving, and the processes marketers use today to ensure compliance may not be adequate tomorrow. Venable attorneys Kelly DeMarchis Bastide, Ellen Berge, Roger Colaizzi, Len Gordon, Jeff Knowles, and the Honorable Mark Pryor will speak at this day-long event that will provide a first-hand look at the state of federal and state regulation and enforcement, as well as industry self-regulation.