You Might Be a Winner

A blog from the attorneys of Verrill

Search Blog

The Year in Lawsuits

2018 brought us the type of lawsuits you would expect in the world of sweepstakes, contests and giveaways. From "The Annoyance Lawyer" to Bobbleheads to "You're Probably Never Going to Be A Winner." The most depressing thing is the lawsuits themselves, often filled with either corrupt sponsors or litigious...
Go

New York AG Gives No Stars to Fake Online Reviews

On November 2, 2018, the New York Attorney General came crashing down on a number of moving services that paid for at least 60 fake positive online reviews posted under the heading "CHECK OUT OUR REVIEWS POSTED BY CUSTOMERS JUST LIKE YOU." As a result, the only checking being...
Go

What’s the Straight Dope on Marijuana Promotions?

Prop 215 was enacted in California twenty-two years today on November 5, 1996. This law was the first of its kind in the U.S. to legalize medical marijuana use. Since then 30 states have approved medical marijuana use and 9 have legalized recreational marijuana. Maybe a long timing coming...
Go

Dilly! Dilly! Is Giving Away Free Beer so Silly?

Every beer drinking football fan in Cleveland knows by now that there will be magic beer fridges stationed throughout Cleveland that will miraculously open to produce bottles of free Bud Light if the football gods see fit to allow the Browns to win a football game this year. At...
Go

Recent Settlement Highlights Charity's Duties in Commercial Co-Ventures

Recently, an Agreed Final Judgment was entered in Tennessee state court following an action by the Tennessee Attorney General (in conjunction with the AGs of 16 other states) against a TN charity concerning issues raised over a commercial co-venture program involving donations for teddy bears purchased to provide care...
Go

Pandamonium Over a Promotion: What to do When Your Promotion is Too Popular

Over the years there have been a number of promotions that just exploded beyond a brand's expectations. In 2009, Oprah decided to treat the whole Internet to two pieces of KFC's new Kentucky Grilled Chicken by promoting a coupon redeemable at participating restaurants. Lines snaked out the doors and...
Go

IGTV – Instagram's New YouTube

Online videos are powerful marketing tools. We've all been there when you watch one video on your phone and suddenly realize you've wasted hours watching clips of a dog skateboarding, a step-by-step tutorial on making a unicorn cake, and your favorite celebrity's appearance on a talk show. While video...
Go

Don't Tax My Bobblehead! Sales Tax on Promotional Items

Bobblehead: "A figurine with a disproportionately large head mounted on a spring so that it bobs up and down, often made as a caricature of a famous person." Giveaway: "A thing that is given free, especially for promotional purposes." Sales tax: "The portion of the purchase price typically forgotten...
Go

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm

Commercial Co-Ventures and Sweepstakes Promotions Remember that song in the '90s from the C+C Music Factory called "Things That Make You Go Hmmm…." I guess I did when I came across some recent promotions. Perhaps these practice tips will stay with you longer than C+C's 15 minutes of fame...
Go

Take That Down: Recent Lawsuit on Negative Reviews

"Beer: The cause and solution to all of life's problems." Mr. Homer J. Simpson would love the recent case of a Massachusetts craft beer company that has been trying in federal court to get the employment website Glassdoor to turn the taps off and take down negative reviews about...
Go

Daily Fantasy Sports is a Skill Game, We Have a Study to Prove It

As the esteemed Secretary of Defense under two presidents has said: Reports that say something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we...
Go

Daily Fantasy Sports, A Supreme Decision

On May 14, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was unconstitutional – meaning it's up to the states to decide whether to allow its residents to bet on sports. This may portend big changes to Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). In...
Go

How Can They Do That? A Question Many Commercial Co-Venturers Love to Ask

Advertising lawyers when giving advice to clients on promotional programs and advertising disclosures are always asked by their clients, why must we do it that way when XYZ company isn't? The answer is usually somewhere between I don't know why XYZ company is doing it that way and XYZ...
Go

Win Tickets to Opening Day, But How Do I Get There?

Today (March 29 th) is baseball's opening day – the earliest opening day in history. If you're going to the Yankees' opener in Toronto, wear your ski caps it's going to be 9 degrees Celsius – which sounds cold. I bring up baseball because I noticed on mlb.com that...
Go

Opening Day Edition: Beer Advertising and Sports

Today (March 29) is baseball's opening day and beer and baseball are in the news. The New York Yankees appear to be in trouble for their new " Pinstripe Pilsner " which has an image of your favorite Yankee player in the foam. But those of you wanting to...
Go

Are We Saying Goodbye to the Beer Babe?

The #MeToo movement has produced constant headlines and has helped positively change corporate culture. Is it possible for its breadth to include beer ads? Sexist beer ads have traditionally been the norm. Give a scantily clad gal a beer bottle, have her hold it to the camera, give a...
Go

New New York Federal Court Ruling Not in Bed with Ninth Circuit on Embedding Issue

Alert to Businesses Who Link or Embed Copyrighted Content on their Website or Social Media Embedding or "on-line linking" has been considered an accepted method of posting others' copyrighted material. Get the content directly from the third-party server, skip putting it on your server, and all's good. In fact...
Go

What Do You Need to Know about Commercial Co-Ventures?

Join me this Friday, February 16, from 1:00 to 2:30pm to learn the specific legal issues that are arising within commercial co-venture campaigns. With many companies today engaged in cause marketing, including commercial co-ventures in which a portion of their sales are donated to charity, it is important to...
Go

Order to Show Cause to Provide Feedback on This Blog

----------------------------------------------------------------- In re the Application of ROB LAPLACA, d/b/a www.YouMightBeaWinner.com: Petitioner ----------------------------------------------------------------- SUPERIOR COURT OF THE BLOGOSPHERE JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF LEGAL BLOGS ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK ON THIS BLOG WHEREAS, this blog (the "Blog") started in 2016 and has had (surprisingly) a good number of readers...
Go

The 2018 Most Interesting Super Contests for the Super Bowl

The noted football lover, Karl Lagerfeld, once said, "Clear thinking at the wrong moment can stifle creativity." (This coming from a man who has dressed in the same outfit for 50 years.) This year, the marketers have thrown away the playbooks, sidestepped clear thinking and used Bill Belichik-like creativity...
Go

A Post Guaranteed to Give a Lesson on Money Back Guarantees (or Your Money Back)

Ever hear of the "Trial Mark"? In 1869, for his home brewed medicinal products J.R. Watkins created bottles that included an embossed "Trial Mark." Mr. Watkins sold his products door-to-door and offered the first Money Back Guarantee to consumers, provided their use of the product did not extend beyond...
Go

FTC 2017: Consumer Protection Year in Review (aka. If you do it, we'll catch you)

The FTC put out its consumer protection year in review providing a comprehensive list of significant consumer protection developments in 2017. Let us indulge you with a recap of a few illustrative actions affecting the promotion world. "Free" Samples In October 2017, the FTC charged A1 Janitorial Supply Corp...
Go

On Air with Ken and Matt: An Employment Law Update

In case you missed it, labor and employment attorneys Benjamin Ford and Tawny Alvarez were live on air in the Newsradio WGAN studio on the morning of Friday, December 22, discussing the firm's upcoming 2018 Annual Employment Law Update on January 25 in Portland. The morning news segment with...
Go