On May 4, 2017, the public received access to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) advisory letters to approximately 45 companies and 45 celebrities/bloggers relating to potential “endorsements” on Instagram. As a result, we now have some additional guidance on the FTC’s expectations with respect to its Endorsement Guides.… Continue Reading
The mining of social media and the use of big data (vast amounts of available internet data that can be analysed and exploited) by insurers to analyse consumer behaviour will change the face of insurance. The basic principles of insurance include the good faith sharing of information between insurer and insured, a pooling of good risks with bad risks, and assessing a fair premium for policyholders. Paradoxically, regulations that require insurers to price more competitively and estimate their reserves more precisely to see that they are sufficiently capitalised are leading insurers to find ways to price insured risks more accurately.… Continue Reading
Increasingly, companies are turning to the internet and social media platforms to advertise their products, often by using native advertising or by providing incentives such as payments or free products to social media “influencers” (Instagrammers, Pinners, Bloggers and Vloggers, to name a few) in exchange for an endorsement.
As we have previously discussed, the FTC has issued Endorsement Guides that provide guidance on appropriate advertising on social media. The FTC has stated that advertising on social media platforms is subject to the same consumer protection laws that prohibit deceptive advertising and that advertising claims must be accompanied by “clear … Continue Reading
A South African High Court on March 8, 2017 reportedly gave a former estate agent five days to correct the employment information on his LinkedIn profile.
Three years after Mr. van der Schyff resigned from his position at Danie Crous Auctioneers, his profile still reflected that he was employed there. Despite two years’ worth of requests from the company to correct the information, eventually followed by a demand from its lawyer, van der Schyff refused to do so. The company then approached the court for an order to compel the profile correction.… Continue Reading
This year seems to have started off in much the same way as 2016 ended. Celebrities, politicians, and everyday people have flocked to social media to provide their commentary on everything from global crises to envelope sagas.
Towards the end of 2016, Twitter announced that no person is above their policies, particularly in respect of hate speech, and threatened to remove Donald Trump’s verified account if the President continued to violate them. But what exactly do the Twitter policies say?… Continue Reading
Can a state law prevent a social media site from publicly posting accurate age information about individuals in the entertainment industry—even if that information is posted by users? The California legislature and Governor believed it was permissible, and the legislation went onto effect on September 24, 2016 (Cal. AB 1687, adding Cal. Civ. § 1798.83.5). Five months later, a federal judge temporarily enjoined the government from enforcing that law, in IMDb.com Inc. v. Becerra, No. 16-cv-06535-VC (N.D. Cal. Feb. 22, 2017).… Continue Reading
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled, on January 18, 2017, on a defendant’s motion to dismiss replevin, conversion, and trespass claims related to the misuse of various domain names and social media accounts. Salonclick LLC d/b/a Min New York , 16 Civ. 2555 (KMW), 2017 WL 239379 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 18, 2017).
The plaintiff in the case (“Plaintiff”) operated a business that manufactured and sold a variety of grooming products, including hair and skin care products. The Plaintiff used various domain names and tag lines in its business, including www.newyorkheart.org and a corresponding Facebook … Continue Reading
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) regulates the use of social media to disseminate information about prescription drugs and medical devices. Our blog previously covered the social media guidance released by the FDA in 2014, and a sampling of Warning and Untitled Letters that the FDA has issued to drug manufacturers advertising on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.
Our firm sister blog, Health Law Pulse, covered last year’s controversy surrounding Kim Kardashian’s Instagram post that endorsed the morning sickness drug Diclegis® without including relevant risk information in the text of her post. After the manufacturer of Diclegis® received an FDA … Continue Reading
Social media personalities who have tweeted, grammed, Vine’d and snapped their way to stardom have no doubt caught the attention of businesses large and small. Much like how professional athletes and other celebrities are paid to endorse products, businesses and retailers have increasingly turned to recognized social media personalities (often called “influencers”) to recommend their products. Although social media influencers can get paid significant sums of money for product placement and rave reviews, sometimes the relationship with the company is not readily apparent to the public. Where the endorsement is not based on genuine user experience, this can have a … Continue Reading
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence (“AI”) or cognitive computing involves the use of computer program code to control machines to mimic cognitive functions, such as learning, classification, and problem solving. AI is a technical field of computer science and includes machine learning and natural language processing.… Continue Reading
Most people would not bring along a group of uninvited strangers to a dinner party or, even worse, a wedding. Society has certain expectations around attendance, guest lists, RSVPs, and the like. And yet, in the digital realm, these social norms may not have the same effect. What can be done about digital party crashers? In particular, how can the owner of a social network ward off competitors who seek access to network content by riding users’ coattails?… Continue Reading
In an earlier blog post this year, we covered Authentication on Social Media Platforms and the need for businesses to authenticate their social media accounts to protect their brand, credibility, reputation and accountability while advertising or otherwise engaging with their customers in the online space.
Various social media platforms offer the blue “verified” badge in order to help users more easily find public figures and brands, and protect these profiles from the high likelihood of impersonation. The blue badge verifies or authenticates the account as belonging to public figures, celebrities, government, businesses or their brands. While Facebook allows users to … Continue Reading
On August 10, 2016, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, in Fields v. Twitter, Inc., dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint against Twitter with leave to amend. The plaintiffs’ complaint arose out of the deaths of Lloyd Fields, Jr. and James Damon Creach, two United States government contractors who were working at a law enforcement training center in Amman, Jordan. Fields and Creach were murdered at the hands of Anwar Abu Zaid, a Jordanian police captain who was inspired to commit the act after watching the ISIS execution of the Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh via … Continue Reading
The digital world moves fast. To get you up to speed, we have compiled a quarterly recap of our five most popular social media blog posts from the Social Media Law Bulletin and the post that is currently trending. From questions ranging from “Is my SnapChat really deleted?” to “Can I tell my employee to stop Tweeting?,” we’ve got you covered ICYMI.
On 9 March 2016 the Düsseldorf Regional Court in Germany ruled that an online shopping site, Peek & Cloppenburg, which … Continue Reading
The number of people using social media these days is staggering. For instance, Facebook has 1.65 billion monthly active users as of March 31, 2016. As such, the ability to reach such a broad consumer base through social media is becoming increasingly important to businesses. Companies are no doubt eager to create social media pages that generate “followers” and “likes” that may, in turn, generate profits. As the number of “followers” and “likes” of a page increase, so do potential issues surrounding ownership of these aspects of social media pages.… Continue Reading
With millions of people walking around with their heads down on their phones, it’s no surprise that mobile advertising on social media platforms has experienced significant growth in the past 12 months. Social media platforms have been continuing to develop ad capabilities to maximize offerings for brands and growth in the social media marketing space is ever expanding. Statistics from a report commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada, however, show that marketers only spend between 2% and 8% of their total ad budget on internet video and mobile internet advertising, respectively.… Continue Reading
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 … Continue Reading
Yes and no. SnapChat automatically deletes most messages after they have been opened or expired. However, it warns users that the recipient may take a screenshot or use some other screen capture technology (or simply take a photo of their screen with another camera). Our long-time readers may recall that SnapChat entered into settlement agreements with both the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Maryland Attorney General on the topic of whether messages disappear.… Continue Reading
On April 6, 2016, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority considered a complaint made against Guccio Gucci SpA regarding a video, which originally appeared on the website at www.thetimes.co.uk. The advert featured several models dancing in a house, clothed in the apparel of the global fashion brand, and the complaint centred around the physical appearance of these models.… Continue Reading
As we discussed in a recent post, “Social media overload”, social media has grown exponentially over the past decade and has caused businesses to change how they operate and how they make decisions. Social media has quickly become one of the most important marketing platforms, providing a convenient way for companies to reach broad audiences. … Continue Reading
We have several new readers to our blog, and we want make sure everyone is aware of our features that not only include blog posts, but also several glossaries. One of our glossaries to help our readers understand what the Marketing and Promotions employees have already discovered is our Glossary of Terms. Here are some new terms that you may not be familiar with:
- Vine. Vine, a social media application owned by Twitter, allows users to record and share looping videos that are six seconds or less. A video can be a full six-seconds, or can be separate,
The explosion of social media in the past decade has caused a major shift in the way we conduct our affairs. In particular, businesses have been required to adapt to new ways of communicating with their clients. At a rate of thousands of social media applications surfacing each month, and new legal issues surrounding the use of social media, it can feel overwhelming, especially for new businesses. … Continue Reading
The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) adopted the final rules of Regulation Crowdfunding (the “Regulation”) on October 30, 2015. While the final rules have been adopted, they do not become effective until May 16, 2016. The Regulation is meant to expound upon Sections 4(a)(6) and 4A of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Act”), both of which provide limited exemptions from registering securities under the Act when a company sells securities by crowdfunding. Crowdfunding occurs when a large group of investors combines resources to support a third party’s efforts to reach a goal. Crowdfunding activities have become more popular … Continue Reading
Social media platforms enable users to profit from their brand and original works such as photos, videos, articles and various “mash ups”. Their brand and content may be protected by trademarks and copyrights and users may generate thousands of postings to build an extensive intellectual property portfolio. A user may develop a popular brand for their curated content across multiple platforms such as web, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, with their creative posts generating significant goodwill and revenue. Companies pay popular users to reach target audiences instantaneously and effectively with authentic content of pictures, videos, blogs and other derivative works. This … Continue Reading