The FTC is somewhat of a frenemy to many brands. As we start 2015, Ad Age published an article focusing on the key legal issues that could affect advertisers this year.
1. Privacy of Consumer Data
Due to high-profile data breaches there has been a rising concern over consumer privacy rights. This is especially relevant for brands that use of consumer data for marketing purposes. More specifically, the FTC wants to to hold companies responsible for data breaches and other privacy infractions, the sharing of data with third parties, and the collection of information. In addition, the FTC is also fighting to keep its data-security powers alive at all as it is being challenged by Wyndham Hotels. Lastly, professionals are predicting the the FTC will be successful and advertisers will under increased regulatory scrutiny and inventive litigation as privacy rights continue to evolve.
2. Sweepstakes via social media
The increased focused on this subject heightened in the end of 2014 as Facebook changed its policy to forbid advertisers from making fans “like” their page for access to specific content or to enter a contest. (This is commonly referred to as “like-gating.”) As law enforcers are increasingly viewing “like gating” and similar behavior as product endorsement, additional legal requirements (such as disclosure agreements) may be in order.
3. Rise in false-advertising litigation
After many faslse-advertising cases in 2014, the Court pass the Lanham Act. The Lanham Act gives brands a powerful weapon to bring false-advertising claims against competitors. This act was coupled with a March decision that allows parties to sue under the Lanham Act beyond just direct competitors. Experts predict that this will likely lead to an uptick in false-advertising litigation in the coming months.
4. Celebrity Endorsements
Social media has fundamentally changed the relationship between brands and celebrities. After many issues, the FTC is keeping a closer eye on celebrity endorsements, both on the part of celebs and the brands. There is an increase need for both parties to disclose any and all affiliation to avoid legal implications. At the same time, brands need to be pay close attention to not use images of celebrities without their permission, as Duane Reade
Read more here.
Why It’s Hot
Perhaps this is not the entertaining but as regulatory scrutiny grows in the advertising space, it is imperative that professionals are aware to best advise our clients.