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How Free Speech and Social Media Fit Together

You’ve heard it or have seen it posted… Someone saying they can say whatever they want, post whatever they want and no-one can do anything to them. As if the First Amendment is their sword and shield. And you can’t do anything about it. Freedom of speech. Three words that get thrown around and written [...]

By | 2018-08-27T10:52:05+00:00 October 18th, 2016|Blogging, Business Law, Social Media|4 Comments

Legal Lesson From the Ruth’s Chris Ann Arbor Promotion Debacle

On Friday, October 7, 2016, the Ruth's Chris Steak House in Ann Arbor Michigan shared a promotion on its Facebook page regarding the Michigan vs. Rutgers game. The promotion stated that whatever the point difference in the final score of the game between Michigan and its opponent for the remainder of the season, the restaurant [...]

By | 2016-10-11T06:00:22+00:00 October 11th, 2016|Business Law, Giveaways, Trademark|3 Comments

Canada Rolls Out FTC-style Endorsement Guidelines Beginning 2017

While the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has, over the past several years, slowly ramped up its enforcement of non-disclosure for paid (or otherwise compensated) endorsement by bloggers, influencers, and celebrities, their enforcement and oversight is limited to the US. And though social media and the web is global, other countries have not followed [...]

By | 2016-08-29T06:00:13+00:00 August 29th, 2016|Blogging, Business Law, FTC Disclosure, Social Media|1 Comment

Sweepstakes Law: What is Equal Dignity

Note: While much of this article is applicable outside of US laws, only US laws and regulations are addressed. While social media platforms have reduced the barriers of running a sweepstakes, contest, or 'giveaway', they've raised the bar on how much entrepreneurs, marketing professionals, social media strategists, agencies, and brands need to know when it comes [...]

By | 2018-08-29T14:11:15+00:00 August 3rd, 2016|Business Law, Giveaways, Social Media|18 Comments

FTC Native Advertising Rules and Guidelines In Plain English

Native advertising rules were released by the Federal Trade Commission as many businesses started to wind down in preparation for the Christmas holiday. Without fanfare, the FTC issued its newest enforcement policy. Clearly aimed at native advertising, the Enforcement Policy Statement on Deceptively Formatted Advertisement, and the associated business guide, were issued on December 22, [...]

By | 2018-08-29T14:12:31+00:00 December 28th, 2015|Business Law, FTC Disclosure, Social Media|0 Comments

Legal Considerations of Cause Marketing

While many of us incorporate giving throughout the year, many businesses get in the giving spirit around holidays. It's awesome to visit clients who have donation boxes, angel trees, adopt-a-family boards, and other charitable programs for their employees to support. And who among us hasn't dropped donations in the red kettles as we're leaving the [...]

By | 2015-12-01T11:38:06+00:00 December 1st, 2015|Business Law, FTC Disclosure, Giveaways, Social Media|1 Comment

6 Key Takeaways From 2015 Update to the FTC Endorsement Guides FAQs

For the first time since they were first written in 2009 (and made public in 2010), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has updated its "What People Are Asking" page, which is a Q&A-type resource relating to the FTC Endorsement Guides and related online disclosure rules. The update provides further clarification related to how and why [...]

Trademark Basics Explained In Plain English

  Trademark law is a complex web of federal laws dating back to 1870. Trademark law covers words, phrases, logos, sounds, colors, and other ways businesses want to set themselves apart from their competitors and others in the marketplace. With the expansion of the internet and the ability to do business much more easily on [...]

By | 2018-08-27T11:21:53+00:00 March 3rd, 2015|Business Law, Trademark|5 Comments

Contests and Sweepstakes Law: 6 Mistakes You Are Probably Making And How To Fix Them

Contests and sweepstakes are powerful marketing tools. Whether it's a blog, website, or social network there is no shortage of people or businesses wanting to give things away to their community. And why not, people like to win free stuff. When it comes to giving things away and asking people to enter in some way [...]

By | 2018-08-27T10:52:02+00:00 February 12th, 2015|Business Law, Giveaways, Social Media|18 Comments