You Might Be a Winner

A blog from the attorneys of Verrill

Search Blog

Category: Advertising

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

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

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

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

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

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

Commercial Co-venture Registration: Things You Should Know

When embarking on your first foray into commercial co-venture land, you may have learned that a commercial co-venturer has to register in six states. But how much do you know about what that entails? Here's a primer: ALABAMA (Ala. Code § 13A-9-70) See here Annual registration: 1. Complete the...
Go

Why Are Ad Men Called Mad Men? Is It Because They Can Get Sued?

We all know that the first ad agency was created by William Taylor in 1786 perhaps to help sell the recently invented threshing machine to those farmers sick and tired of separating Recently, ad agencies have come under fire for a number of reasons: Days ago, Uber sued its...
Go

Should Influencers Influence Cause Marketing?

To use or not to use a popular marketing tool? That is the question. Shakespeare, himself, opted for a popular marketing tool when he cast the famous tragedian, Richard Burbage, for the part of Hamlet. This was probably a good idea, since according to Wikipedia, the play "has been...
Go

2016: The Year in Review

In case you missed it, here are some notable items from 2016 concerning sweepstakes, contests, and related promotional matters: Influencers, Native Advertising, and Endorsements 2016 kicked off with reaction to the FTC's new Native Advertising Rules which seek more transparency in sponsored stories/advertising. In March, in its first enforcement...
Go

Playing for Keeps: Daily Fantasy Football 2016

When the last online fantasy football game was played, the attorneys general of New York, Nevada and Illinois were throwing penalty flags, state legislators was huddling to set the next play, and the daily fantasy sports leagues were taking it on the chin. Where are we now? Here's a...
Go

Do You Really Like Me? Native Advertising Enforcement is On the Rise

On July 11, 2016, the FTC announced that it had settled charges against Warner Bros. that it paid online influencers to post positive game play videos for its new a video game Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (Ed. note: whooo). (Further Ed. Note: I will continue to use the...
Go

Is It "Au Naturale" or "Oh, Not Natural?": FTC Comes Down on 100% Natural Claims

You can buy almost any product that is "all natural" -- skin cream, soap, shampoo, cleaners, grass seed, bug repellent, pet spray, even hair loss treatment. These products go by monikers such as "Pure Naked", "Lush", "ONO", "Nature's Miracle" and many "Dr. so-and-so's". Natural products are certainly not new...
Go

Where'd You Get That Dress? FTC Dresses Down Lord & Taylor Native Advertising

This week the FTC settled charges against Lord & Taylor from alleged deceptive native advertising during its March 2015 Design Lab social media campaign. http://1.usa.gov/22h3sJ7 A big takeaway from this settlement is the FTC's position that a company not only has to comply with the Native Advertising/Endorsement disclosures on...
Go

Cause Marketing Lessons from the Wounded Warrior Project Scandal

Your company just made a major announcement that it is partnering with a charity that you now find is involved in a scandal. What can you do? The recent ousting of The Wounded Warriors Project CEO and COO amid allegations of lavish spending on travel, conferences and public relations...
Go

Did Peyton Manning Go One Pitch Too Far? (Native Advertising at the Super Bowl)

We all know Peyton Manning – he's a professional pitcher: for Papa Johns, DirecTV, Buick, and Gatorade, among others. He's also a professional quarterback. But did his post-Super Bowl pitches for Budweiser and Papa John's go too far. As you may recall loyal followers of this blog, I wrote...
Go

Show Me the Money - When Taxes Can Turn Your Dream Home Into a Nightmare

It's that time of year again, the 20th annual HGTV Dream Home 2016 Sweepstakes began December 29th. As the sponsor of this promotion has recognized, winning a mansion could put you in the dog house when you are socked with a hefty tax bill. I've written about this issue...
Go

Cause Marketing by the Numbers - What's In It for Me?

There is a common belief that corporations must do everything with an eye to producing profits for shareholders. But that is not so. In fact, in its opinion in the Hobby Lobby case, the U.S. Supreme Court stated: "Modern corporate law does not require for-profit corporations to pursue profit...
Go

FTC Addresses Nativ(ity) Advertising Just in Time For Xmas

On Tuesday, the FTC issued an Enforcement Policy Statement on Deceptively Formatted Advertisements -- a/k/a "native advertising", along with guidelines for businesses . Simply put, native advertising is generally advertising that takes the form and style of the platform in which it appears in order to promote a product...
Go