June 2016

Native advertising—or advertising that appears to match the form and function of the platform upon which it appears—and social media endorsements provide considerable opportunities for companies to strengthen their brands and reach consumers in innovative ways. More and more, “influencers” like Instagram “models,” fashion and lifestyle bloggers, “pinners,” and “vloggers” are joining the ranks of A-list celebrities in receiving substantial sums, or freebies like helicopter rides and luxury cars, to endorse products in their social media posts. Companies stand to gain sizable increases in their brand value and sales by capitalizing on the fame of social media influencers.  But they must also be careful to follow the requirements when it comes to native advertising, product placement, and endorsements.

Social media has created several complications with regard to the U.S. discovery process in litigation. Among these complications are issues relating to (i) seeking out and turning over vast amounts of social media information, and (ii) preserving inherently fleeting social media information.