While marketing in the mobile age is often different than marketing in the past, it does not have to be difficult. With more and more consumers reaching to their phones and tablet computers before reaching for a newspaper, companies must adapt their marketing techniques to the changing times. While consumers can shorten their messages by removing letters and substituting characters, however, many companies often do not have that luxury. Our practice focuses on new and relevant guidelines and regulations in the mobile marketing space. The guidance we provide to clients includes information regarding mobile promotions (contests and sweepstakes), mobile advertisements, content that must be included with commercial text messages, and mobile privacy considerations.
Recent reports indicate that advertising fraud is not only increasing but is now being run by groups alongside otherwise legitimate advertising businesses.
Cybersecurity company Check Point recently released a report finding that HummingBad—a known malware that takes over Android devices, generates fraudulent advertising revenue, and installs apps on the infected phones—was developed and is controlled by a group of cybercriminals within Yingmob, an otherwise legitimate advertising analytics business based in Beijing.
Mobile advertising company InMobi, whose advertising network reaches more than one billion devices worldwide through thousands of apps, has settled with the Federal Trade Commission over charges that it “deceptively tracked” the locations of hundreds of millions of consumers without their knowledge or consent, in a deal announced June 22.
The App Code
What’s the News?
Beginning September 1, 2015, many companies that engage in mobile advertising will be subject to a new level of scrutiny by industry watch dogs. On that date, the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), an industry self-regulatory organization, will begin to actively enforce its guidelines for online behavioral advertising (also known as “interest-based advertising”).
Who Does this Apply To?
What’s the News?
Tinder, a mobile dating application, recently removed an advertising campaign being conducted on the app by Gap, Inc. (Gap). Tinder claimed that the advertisements violated its terms of service, which provide that the app is for “personal use only.” This should serve as a reminder to businesses to read and ensure compliance with the relevant terms of service before engaging in advertising on social media platforms.
What’s the News?
Apple Inc. and other leading technology companies have reached an agreement with the European Union (EU) regarding their use of the word “free” in relation to mobile applications. The EU alleged that the companies were labeling apps as “free” in contexts that were likely to mislead consumers. By entering into the agreement, the companies each avoided the possibility of $5.65 million in fines.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a report this week examining the privacy and security implications of the so-called “Internet of Things.” The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the ability of everyday objects to connect to the Internet and to send and receive data. As the number of connected devices has surged in recent years, the FTC has signaled a strong interest in the IoT and repeatedly warned businesses to be mindful of consumer privacy and security when developing new products.
The Obama Administration has announced a series of initiatives to address the growing number of data breaches at major retailers. Millions of Americans and thousands of retailers have been the victims of data breaches over the past year, and consumers and legislators alike are increasingly looking for ways to secure sensitive data such as payment card account numbers.
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Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.