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Advertising Law Blog

The Advertising Law Blog provides commentary and news on developing legal issues in advertising, promotional marketing, Internet, and privacy law. This blog is sponsored by the Advertising, Marketing & Promotions group at Olshan. The practice is geared to servicing the needs of the advertising, promotional marketing, and digital industries with a commitment to providing personal, efficient and effective legal service.

Photo of Advertising Law Blog Morgan E. Spina mspina@olshanlaw.com View Bio

Showing 45 posts by Morgan E. Spina.

Lustigman, Grieco, Shaffer, and Spina Contribute Four Guidance Notes on Direct Marketing in OneTrust DataGuidance

Advertising, Marketing & Promotions practice chair Andrew Lustigman, Intellectual Property/Privacy partner Mary Grieco, AMP partner Scott Shaffer, and associate Morgan Spina authored four Guidance Notes on direct marketing in California recently published in the prestigious OneTrust DataGuidance (subscription required). The first, entitled “California – Emarketing,” covers both the state and federal legislation, as well as regulatory guidance from the Federal Trade Commission, concerning emarketing. In the second, “California – Telemarketing,” the authors examine the numerous pieces of state and federal legislation governing telemarketing, including the “Automatic Dialing Law” and the “Unwanted Calls Law.” The third, entitled “California – SMS/MMS Marketing,” discusses various state and federal laws on SMS/MMS, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and the consent requirements that advertisers must follow when using these services. In the fourth, “California – Postal Marketing,” the authors explore various state and federal laws on postal marketing, such as California’s “Mail Solicitation Law” and the federal “Deceptive Mail Act.”

SEC Brings Enforcement Actions Against Companies for Misleading COVID-19 Claims

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) filed enforcement actions on May 14, 2020, against two unrelated companies, Turbo Global Partners, Inc. (“Turbo”) and Applied BioSciences Corp. (“APPB”). The SEC charged both companies with securities fraud based on alleged materially misleading statements that the companies were offering and shipping products to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19). These actions taken by the SEC are consistent with approaches taken by other regulators, including the Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration (the “FDA”), with regard to misleading statements made in connection with coronavirus-related products. On the whole, regulators appear to be particularly cognizant of businesses and individuals seeking to take improper advantage of the circumstances created by the global pandemic, and as such are taking action against such companies and individuals. Read More ›

NAD Announces Fast-Track SWIFT Challenge Process

To expedite advertising challenges on discrete issues, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Better Business Bureau has launched a new fast-track process.  The new process will resolve eligible matters within 20 business days from initiation of the challenge. Read More ›

3M Alleges Trademark Infringement in Lawsuits Against Unauthorized Resellers of N95 Masks

Multinational corporation, 3M Company (“3M”), has filed a string of lawsuits alleging trademark infringement against distributors of its 3M-branded N95 respirator masks. N95 respirator masks have become crucial in the fight against COVID-19. 3M has supplied healthcare workers and other first responders with 3M-branded N95 respirators. 3M’s recent lawsuits target false and deceptive price-gouging on the part of unauthorized third-party distributors, seeking to take advantage of the heightened demand for N95 respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interestingly, these lawsuits do not allege that the defendants are selling counterfeit products. Instead, 3M alleges that the defendants, unauthorized resellers, are implying a direct relationship with 3M when selling 3M-branded products at inflated prices. Read More ›

Supreme Court Rules Willfulness Not Required For Disgorgement of Trademark Infringement Profits

Resolving a circuit split, the Supreme Court (the “Court”) has held that willfulness is not a precondition for disgorgement of an infringer’s profits from the infringement in a trademark infringement case. In Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil Group, Inc., the Court considered willfulness as but one of the factors that may be considered in deciding whether or not to award an infringer’s profits to a trademark holder, rejecting the premise that a showing of willfulness is required before an infringer’s profits may be awarded. Read More ›

Reese Witherspoon’s Clothing Company Receives Backlash for Changing Rules in Teacher Appreciation Dress Giveaway for Covid-19

In 2017, California-based clothing company, Sunny Co. Clothing, posted a photo to its Instagram account displaying a model wearing Sunny Co. Clothing’s “Pamela” red, full-piece bathing suit. The caption stated that every person who reposts the image tagging Sunny Co. Clothing “will receive a FREE Pamela Sunny Suit.” Sunny Co. Clothing failed to set a maximum on the number of swimsuits available for the promotion. The post quickly went viral and Sunny Co. Clothing found itself in the undesirable position of not being able to fulfil its promotional obligations as it simply did not have enough swimsuits to meet the demand. Sunny Co. Clothing publicly learned the importance of having complete and conspicuously disclosed contest rules for social media giveaways. Reese Witherspoon’s fashion label, Draper James, is now learning the same lesson several years later. Read More ›

Fashion Nova Reaches $9.3 million Settlement with the FTC Over Charges of Violating Shipping and Returns Rules

Online fast fashion retailer, Fashion Nova, has agreed to pay $9.3 million to settle FTC charges that it failed to properly notify consumers and give them a chance to cancel their orders that were not shipped in a timely manner. The FTC also alleged that Fashion Nova used gift cards to compensate consumers for unshipped merchandise instead of providing refunds, as required.  Read More ›

FTC Reaches $15 Million Settlement With Tea and Skincare Company For Failing To Adequately Disclose Material Connections To Endorsers

The FTC has reached a settlement with Teami, LLC (“Teami”), a tea and skincare company that allegedly used deceptive health claims and a bevy of undisclosed social media influencer endorsements to promote its products. This settlement, comprised in part of a significant monetary judgment, comes on the heels of the FTC seeking public comment on its Endorsement Guides in light of the changing social media advertising landscape. The FTC’s recent policy and enforcement actions seem focused on online influencer advertising campaigns. Read More ›

Andrew Lustigman, Mary Grieco and Morgan Spina Contribute Chapter in OneTrust DataGuidance

Advertising, Marketing & Promotions partner Andrew Lustigman, Intellectual Property partner Mary Grieco and associate Morgan Spina authored a chapter entitled, “USA – Cookies & Similar Technologies” in a recent publication included in the prestigious OneTrust DataGuidance (subscription required).  The chapter covers the current laws and information regarding the use of cookies and third parties on the Internet. 

Vermont Updates Privacy Law, Including Revisions to Automatic Renewal Online Cancellation Provisions

Vermont, which already has one of the most unique automatic renewal laws on the books, has further increased the compliance obligations for sellers utilizing continuity arrangements. On March 5, 2020, Governor Phil Scott signed Vermont Senate Bill 110 into effect. This new law primarily tackles issues surrounding privacy, but also updates Vermont’s automatic renewal provisions to bring cancellation of consumer contracts in line with California’s online requirements. The law goes into effect on July 1, 2020. Read More ›

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