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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.

Showing 33 posts in Sweepstakes Law.

Federal Court Dismisses Claims Against Coinbase of Illegal Lottery

Sweepstakes entrants’ lack of knowledge of free method of entry insufficient to constitute violation of California Penal Code.

A Northern District of California case styled Suski v. Marden-Kane, Inc. (decided August 31, 2022) has resulted in a significant ruling in the field of sweepstakes law. A sweepstakes sponsored by Coinbase, a popular cryptocurrency exchange, and administered by Marden-Kane offered the chance to win valuable prizes to Coinbase users who bought or sold Dogecoin, a well-known “meme” token, on Coinbase for a total of $100 or more. The sweepstakes offered an alternative method of entry that did not require the trading of Dogecoin or incurrence by the entrants of any other expense. However, this free alternative method of entry was not well-publicized. Read More ›

Class Action Moves Ahead Over Dogecoin Sweepstakes

Defendants plagued by failure to include arbitration clause in sweepstakes rules

A class-action lawsuit against an online sweepstakes operator will go forward despite the plaintiffs’ admitted agreement to an arbitration clause. The sweepstakes offered the chance to win $1.2 million in Dogecoin, a type of cryptocurrency. The plaintiffs in the Northern District of California district court action, styled Suski v. Marden-Kane et al., initially agreed to arbitrate all disputes at the time they opened their online accounts with defendant Coinbase Global, Inc. Read More ›

Andrew Lustigman and Morgan Spina to Speak on LAWorld’s Virtual Workshop Panel

Andrew Lustigman,  Chair of the firm's Advertising, Marketing and Promotion's Group and Co-Chair of Brand Management & Protection Group, and associate Morgan Spina will speak on a virtual panel entitled “Advertising, Sweepstakes, Promotions and Competitions Workshop” hosted by LAWorld. Read More ›

Void Quebec for Your Next Sweepstakes Promotion?: Peut-être pas si vite

An overwhelming number of US/Canada international sweepstakes promotions typically void the Canadian province of Quebec, resulting in Quebec residents being ineligible to participate. The province is typically voided because of a French translation requirement and a novel registration and tax regime based on prize value with the Regie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (the “Régie”). In an effort to expand sweepstakes offerings to this highly populated Canadian province, it has been reported that Quebec recently changed its promotion registration and tax requirements, making it easier to run international promotions open to Quebec residents. Read More ›

Sweepstakes and Promotions During a Pandemic

In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, many companies have turned to online sweepstakes and promotions as a means of both promoting their brand and showing support to coronavirus relief efforts. Certainly, sweepstakes and promotions can be an effective way to achieve these dual purposes.   As we previously reported, brands that have hastily run promotions without thinking through the consequences of various events have run into a firestorm of negative publicity as well as potential class actions.  Making sure that the promotion incorporates the items below can help ensure that a promotion is legal, properly structured, and contains appropriate protections for the brand. 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 ›

Sweepstakes Registration and Bonding

Sponsors and promoters of sweepstakes are facing the decision as to whether to cancel or postpone planned promotions due to COVID-19. With respect to promotions that have already been registered and bonded in Florida, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs (“FDACS”) has provided certain advice as to how these promotions will be treated. The FDACS has advised that there will be no refunds of filing fees in the event a promotion is cancelled due to COVID-19. However, if revisions to the Official Rules are required due to COVID-19, the FDACS has agreed to waive late penalties. In addition, the FDACS will permit substitution of trip or sports related prizes due to COVID-19. Read More ›

Indiana AG Sues Promotions Company over Deceptively Advertised Sweepstakes

An advertising agency that promoted sales events on behalf of numerous Indiana motor vehicle dealerships is the subject of an Indiana Attorney General lawsuit focusing on allegedly false sweepstakes promotions.   The lawsuit highlights the governments’ continued focus on direct mail sweepstakes promotions.  Read More ›

Sweepstakes Copywriter Receives 36-Month Prison Sentence for Role in Direct Mail Scheme

One of the early guilty pleas in the government’s crack-down on allegedly fraudulent sweepstakes and astrology direct marketing campaigns has received a 36-month prison sentence. This sentence against a supplier reflects the serious nature of the government’s investigation into these matters. Read More ›

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against PCH Relating To Sweepstakes Marketing Practices

Wright, et al v. Publishers Clearing House, Incorporated and Publishers Clearing House, LLC (EDNY April 23, 2018) Read More ›

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