Advertising and Promotions

By Scott W. Pink and Carissa L. Bouwer

DLA Piper’s International Advertising Group has published the Prize Promotions Across the World Handbook which provides an overview of prize promotion laws and regulations across 20 countries.

Prize promotions are an effective and increasingly popular marketing tool used globally for attracting customers. The internet and various social media platforms make this an attractive, cost efficient means of reaching a large, multi-jurisdictional customer base, but it is not without its legal challenges. This Handbook will help companies planning an international contest or sweepstakes to understand the challenges and restrictions the promotion will face in different jurisdictions.


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By Radiance W. Harris

On April 10, 2013, Florida revised several provisions of its game promotion statute, which will likely change how for-profit brands and non-profit entities offer contests and sweepstakes within the State and to its residents. In particular, these revisions include:

• A game promotion can only be operated by a for-profit organization on a limited and occasional basis as an advertising or marketing tool in connection with and incidental to bona fide sales of consumer products or services, if no purchase is necessary to play; and

• Non-profit entities and charitable organizations cannot operate a game promotion.


Continue Reading Florida’s Revised Promotions Law Prohibits Non-Profits From Offering Contests or Sweepstakes

Repost from E-Commerce and Privacy Alert

By Scott W. Pink

On March 12, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission issued its long-awaited update to its 2000 guidance on disclosures in online marketing and advertising.

The guidance, entitled .com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising, not only reaffirms many of the FTC’s longstanding principles for effective online disclosures, but also provides guidance as to how those principles will be applied to new technologies that have emerged since 2000, such as mobile phones and tablets with more limited space, banner ads and multimedia messaging, and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

The FTC has broad powers under Section 5 of the FTC Act to protect consumers from “unfair and deceptive acts or practices.”i Under the FTC Act, the FTC has long required effective disclosures for claims that would otherwise be deceptive or misleading without them. .com Disclosures is designed to help businesses comply with the FTC Act by providing examples and direction on how to avoid unfair and deceptive practices through appropriate disclosures in their online and mobile marketing.


Continue Reading FTC issues new guidance for advertising and marketing in the online and mobile world

Companies are becoming increasingly innovative in promoting and conducting contests and sweepstakes via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.  However, companies engaging in social media contests or sweepstakes must ensure that their promotions are in compliance with federal and states laws as well as the specific platform guidelines, and be particularly careful not to inadvertently organize their promotions as an illegal lottery.  Avoiding the creation of an illegal lottery is one of the biggest challenges of organizing a social media promotion.


Continue Reading Avoiding Illegal Lotteries in Social Media Promotions

Reposted from Corporate Counsel Magazine

By Radiance Walters and Debbie Rosenbaum

In 2012, marketing teams will spend less time defining the term “social media” for corporate executives and more resources justifying increased expenditures in cyber platforms that have questionable returns on investment. Despite the unknown value of social media, conventional wisdom seems to suggest that companies require some form of social media presence. Frankly, a lack thereof sends red flags to consumers that a brand is unsophisticated or out of date.


Continue Reading From the Experts: Avoid Pitfalls of Social Media Contests and Sweepstakes