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MediaPost: Post-Google Buzz: Has Google+ Gotten Privacy Right? - Published Article -  09/26/2011

By Vejay G. Lalla and Joseph J. Lewczak

In June, Google unveiled the test phase of its new social network, Google+. While Google+ is regarded as Google’s “response” to Facebook, the service is Google’s second attempt at social networking after privacy problems plagued Google Buzz, a Twitter-like service based around user updates.

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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> Michaels Stores Settles “Continuous Sale” Charges With New York  - Alert -  09/22/2011

Michaels Stores, Inc., the arts and crafts specialty retailer, has agreed to alter its advertising practices and to pay $1.8 million to resolve deceptive advertising allegations brought by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> FTC Seeks Comments On Proposed Revisions To Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule - Alert -  09/19/2011

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking public comments on proposed amendments to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (the Rule), which gives parents control over what personal information websites may collect from children under 13 years of age.

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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> ICANN Implements Plans to Expand Top-Level Domain Name Options - Alert -  09/14/2011

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the non-profit entity tasked with coordinating the worldwide Internet domain name system, has implemented two plans that will greatly impact the Internet’s structure of domain name suffixes known as generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> Is This the End of Premium Text Messaging Games? - Alert -  09/12/2011

More than four years after lawsuits were filed against Fox Broadcasting, NBC, and other parties claiming that sweepstakes promoted on the TV shows “Deal Or No Deal” and “American Idol” were illegal under California and Massachusetts law, the parties have reached a tentative settlement.

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MediaPost: Facebook’s Sponsored Stories May Become Tales of Woe - Published Article -  07/28/2011

By: Vejay G. Lalla

In one of Facebook’s latest efforts to monetize the participation of its over 500 million members, the company announced in early 2011 that it will offer advertisers a new opportunity: “Sponsored Stories.”

Sponsored Stories will republish a content user’s post about an advertiser’s brand as part of banner ads. Advertisers can opt to have several types of user-posted content appear as Sponsored Stories, such as page “likes,” check-ins, application engagement, and page posts.

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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> Proposed Voluntary Guidelines On Food Marketing To Children - Alert -  06/08/2011

In an effort to combat childhood obesity, former Senator Sam Brownback and Senator Tom Harkin directed the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA), to establish an Interagency Working Group (IWG) consisting of nutrition, health and marketing experts to develop recommendations for the nutritional quality of foods marketed to children, ages 2-17. In response to that directive, the IWG developed nutrition principles and marketing criteria by the year 2016.

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E-Commerce Law & Policy: The Path to Regulation and Compliance - Published Article -  06/06/2011

By: Ronald R. Urbach

The existence of several high profile settlements involving the US Federal Trade Commission and various organisations - involved in ‘deceptive’ advertising techniques online - has shown that online behavioural advertising has become a communication vehicule of choice.

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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> Dot Com Disclosures: FTC Seeking Comments  - Alert -  06/02/2011

It has been 11 years since the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued its guidelines regarding disclosures in Internet advertising, known as the Dot Com Disclosures.  

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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> FTC Settles Action Against Company And Owner For Misleading Endorsements Made By Affiliate Marketers - Alert -  04/01/2011

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced a settlement with Legacy Learning Systems, Inc. (Legacy), maker of instructional guitar DVDs, and its sole owner, Lester Gabriel Smith (Smith), resolving claims that the company’s online affiliate marketers posted misleading endorsements.

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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> Groupon Class Action Suits Challenge Online Coupon Business - Alert -  03/21/2011

In the latest action to be filed in a series of class action lawsuits against Groupon, Inc., Carlos Vasquez filed a complaint on March 8, 2011 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of himself and other similarly situated consumers alleging that Groupon places unlawful expiration dates on its gift certificates.

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Privacy & Security Law Report: Social Media, Games, Privacy, and Digital Identifiers - Published Article -  03/17/2011

By: Gary A. Kibel and S. Gregory Boyd

It is difficult to believe social media as a phenomenon is less than seven years old. Facebook was founded in 2006, MySpace and LinkedIn were both founded in 2003. Now, social networks are ubiquitous. As of February 2011, Facebook alone had more than 500 million users and there are ten or more other social networks with more than 100 million users.

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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> Congress Passes Restore Online Shoppers' Confidence Act - Alert -  12/23/2010


On December 15, the House of Representatives passed the "Restore Online Shoppers' Confidence Act" (the Act). The Act regulates how merchants may sell certain marketing programs online by prohibiting certain "post transaction" offers as well as restricting certain "negative option" offers.


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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> FTC Proposed Privacy Framework Sparks Action And Debate - Alert -  12/16/2010

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued its long-awaited preliminary staff report proposing guidance on consumer privacy and data collection practices for businesses (the Framework). The FTC issued the report amidst its concerns that innovations in technology have changed the practices and expectations of consumers, and the existing approach of businesses to privacy must adapt.

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GAMASUTRA: Video Game Regulation and the Supreme Court: Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association - Published Article -  11/01/2010

By: S. Gregory Boyd

Attorney Greg Boyd takes a detailed look at the arguments in the upcoming Supreme Court case on First Amendment issues as regards video games, and then analyzes the possible reasons SCOTUS accepted the case and what outcomes may arise from it.

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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> Newly Formed Digital Advertising Alliance Announces Self-Regulatory Program For Online Behavioral Advertising - Alert -  10/08/2010

On October 4, 2010, the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) – a joint project of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the American Advertising Federation, the Association of National Advertisers, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau – announced the launch of a cross-industry program for self-regulation of online behavioral advertising.


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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> Industry Shift In The Clearance Of Comparative Claims Made In Print Advertisements - Alert -  10/07/2010

In contrast to the major television networks, the review and clearance process for advertising disseminated via print publications has been virtually nonexistent. Print media has traditionally displayed an inclination to accept most advertisements that are submitted, with the exception of lewd, illegal and objectionable content. Recently, however, there has been an increase in self-regulation of print media, which is likely to have a significant impact on advertisers and their agencies.

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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> FTC Releases Proposed Revisions To Green Guides And Seeks Comments - Alert -  10/07/2010

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just issued proposed revisions to its Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (Green Guides). The revised Green Guides update the current Guides to make them easier for businesses to understand and also provide new guidance on claims that were not previously covered. The FTC is accepting comments on the revised Green Guides until December 10, 2010.

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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> FTC Brings Action Against PR Agency For Misleading Online Endorsements - Alert -  09/16/2010

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced a settlement with Reverb Communications,Inc.(Reverb), a public relations agency in the videogame industry,and its sole owner,Tracie Snitker (Snitker).The settlement resolves claims that Reverb and Snitker engaged in deceptive advertising by having employees pose as ordinary consumers and post game reviews on iTunes.The FTC’s action is the first brought against bloggers since the FTC revised its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (Guides).

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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> FTC Answers Frequently Asked Questions About Endorsement Guides - Alert -  07/15/2010

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently published answers to a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (Guides). The FAQs answer the most common inquiries the FTC has received from advertisers, ad agencies, bloggers and others since issuing the revised Guides in October 2009.

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Washington Legal Foundation - The Legal Backgrounder: “Enhanced” FCC Regulation Of Product Placement Would Breach Free Speech Rights - Published Article -  04/09/2010

By: Joseph Lewczak and Anne DiGiovanni

Michael J. Fox’s character ordering a Pepsi in the movie Back to the Future. Oreo cookies being eaten and discussed throughout an episode by the cast of Seventh Heaven. A character on The Office going to work at a Staples office supply store. Product placement is ever-evolving in television and
movies. With the infiltration of alternative viewing methods such as TiVo, Hulu.com, and illegal downloading, the YouTube generation of viewers is much less persuaded by advertisements in the traditional television programming format. Advertisers and entertainment content producers have
responded over the last decade with product placement,1 whereby advertisers pay to have their products subtly, or not so subtly, included and often featured in entertainment content.

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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> FDA Proposes To Amend Its Regulations Concerning Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) Prescription Drugs - Alert -  04/09/2010

On March 29, 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a notice proposing to amend its regulations concerning DTC prescription drug advertisements by implementing standards that the FDA would consider in determining whether the major statement in these advertisements is presented in a manner that is clear, conspicuous and neutral as required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act (the Act) as amended by the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (the FDAAA).

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Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert >> FTC Seeks Comments On Children’s Online Privacy Protections - Alert -  04/08/2010

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) seeking comments on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (COPPA Rule) should be updated in response to evolving technology and changes in the way children use and access the Internet.

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