Calling all #influencers: that promotional post may attract more attention than you bargained for with your brand if you fail to use required disclosures. With several enforcement actions against companies, assistance from Instagram’s new paid partnerships tool, and the first ever complaint directly against social media influencers, the Federal Trade Commission has made it clear that they are fed up with deceptive endorsements.
User-generated content promotions create brand loyalty in a community environment. Additionally, these promotions allow fans to express their ideas and enthusiasm about products. For these reasons, many companies are conducting contests and promotions in which consumers develop software applications, commercials, slogans, and other marketing materials for the companies’ use. Our attorneys are well versed in the advertising, intellectual property, publicity, and privacy issues that arise with the use of user-generated content. We understand why you want to use it, and we look for ways to allow you to use it.
Instagram has a message for social media Influencers: the Wild West is coming to an end. The popular photo-sharing platform is rolling out a new tool that will make it easier to tag and track paid commercial content. The tool offers a potential replacement for the much loathed “#ad” disclosure, but it also signals a coming crackdown on Influencer posts.
What’s the News?
The Federal Trade Commission’s final order against a video game marketing company for not disclosing that online reviews for games were posted by paid reviewers shows that companies (i) should monitor their paid reviewers and influencers for proper disclosures and (ii) have a compliance system in place to deal with those who do not follow a company’s guidelines.
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.
FTC Brings First Case Under Federal Negative Option Law
What’s Making News?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently brought its first case under the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA), a 2010 federal law that prohibits online sellers from charging consumers in an Internet transaction unless the seller has clearly disclosed all material terms of the transaction and obtained consumers’ express informed consent.
According to a recent ruling in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, CrossFit may have violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by submitting a DMCA takedown request to Facebook based on trademark rights instead of copyrights. The case is a reminder that there are consequences under the DMCA for companies that fail to exercise caution when policing their trademark rights and copyrights on the internet.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently approved a new method for obtaining verifiable parental consent that could make it easier for companies to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule. The COPPA Rule applies to websites that are “targeted” at children under the age of 13 and websites that have “actual knowledge” that they are collecting personal information directly from users of another website or online service directed to children (covered websites).
ABOUT ARENT FOX LLP
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.