Archives: Advertising

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Keyword advertising – novel questions of honest concurrent use and passing off

Cases on trade mark infringement in the context of keyword advertising are rare. However, the UK High Court recently handed down a ruling on exactly that topic – in Victoria Plum Limited v Victorian Plumbing Limited. The decision is the first time a court has considered the ‘honest concurrent use’ defence to trade mark infringement … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Finds That The Organic Foods Act Does Not Preempt State Law Consumer Fraud Claims

In Quesada v. Herb Thyme Farms, Inc., a unanimous California Supreme Court held that a California putative consumer class can assert state law claims arising from the purportedly false “organic” labeling of produce.  In so doing, the court reversed a decision stating that such claims are preempted by federal law addressing the use of “organic” … Continue Reading

Does your company “Like” endorsements on social media?

As a result of expanding technology, companies are faced with increasingly more choices when deciding how to spend their advertising dollars to promote their products.  Some companies choose traditional methods, such as print, radio or television ads.  Others use digital advertising, such as Google AdWords or placing ads on popular social media sites.  Still others may try more non-traditional methods, … Continue Reading

Tesco trumps Sainsbury’s in comparative ad spat: implications

The UK High Court has handed down a ruling which could give businesses greater freedom to undertake comparative advertising.  Comparative advertising is where a business makes a direct comparison between its product and a competitor’s equivalent product in an advert or other marketing communication. Background The ruling relates to a dispute between two of the … Continue Reading

Speaking from the Grave: Postmortem Rights of Publicity for the Deceased

We reported in the past on the right of publicity in the context of tweeting or posting in social media about celebrities without their permission.  As we are approaching Halloween, we thought it might be an opportune time to continue this series and report on the postmortem right of publicity for the deceased.  Most companies … Continue Reading

FTC Takes Action against Educational Services Company for Deceptive Advertising and Do Not Call Violations

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) is the federal agency that is charged with enforcing laws to protect consumers against fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices.  We recently reported on actions taken by the FTC to protect children’s online personal information, as well as “Operation Full Disclosure,” which is an effort by the FTC … Continue Reading

More Crackdowns from the FTC – Advertisers Take Note of “Operation Full Disclosure”

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) is the federal agency charged with enforcing various consumer protection laws, including the prohibition on “unfair or deceptive acts or practices.”  We recently reported on the FTC’s crackdown on companies that allegedly collected personal information from children under the age of 13 in violation of the Children’s Online … Continue Reading

Consumers given new powers in the latest consumer law reforms

UK consumer protection laws change again today (1 October).  The Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (the “Regulations”) come into force.  They give consumers a new direct right of redress against traders who commit certain breaches of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPUT).  This development shifts the balance of power in favour of … Continue Reading

Advertising – ‘Pester power’ rule set for reform

The Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) proposes to amend the ‘pester power’ provision in Rule 5.9 of the BCAP Code. The proposed change will represent a small but significant relaxation in the UK’s advertising regulatory regime. The current Rule 5.9 prohibits advertisements from “encouraging” children to buy a product or service or from asking their … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court Gives Juice to Lanham Act Claims

The Supreme Court’s unanimous opinion in POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co. (Dkt. No. 12-761) (June 12, 2014) highlights the key role of Lanham Act false advertising claims in protecting consumers from misleading advertising and labeling. Reasoning that competitors often are in a better position than regulators to identify false advertising and other unfair competition, … Continue Reading

Celebrity Tweets Can Cost You Millions

With 255 million monthly active Twitter users and more than 1 billion active Facebook users, social media platforms are powerful tools for companies to build relationships with their consumers and share information about their products.  Although social media offers companies a wide variety of opportunities to engage consumers, such as through conducting online promotions or … Continue Reading

.LONDON domain name to launch on 29 April 2014

What is it?  A new top-level domain name (TLD) permitting registration of (brand).LONDON, with priority given to London businesses, organisations and individuals.  Anyone with a presence or interest in London should consider seeking to register a .LONDON domain name.  It is expected that domain names will be allocated by August or September 2014. Who is … Continue Reading

Running an international prize promotion without breaking the law

Running an international prize promotion is an increasingly popular way for brands to engage with their consumers. Given the obvious benefits of the Internet, brands and their advisors often seek to operate those promotions through third party social media platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, or on bespoke platforms. While there are many benefits … Continue Reading

Read this before you Tweet that link!

Most companies by now have made their footprint in social media, including on leading platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.   With 500 million Tweets being sent per day, companies need to get creative to come up with enough content to engage their consumers.  One popular technique is to send Tweets that contain links to third-party content, along … Continue Reading

Hot Topics in Intellectual Property and Technology

Our new quarterly publication – Hot Topics in Intellectual Property and Technology – highlights the most significant legal developments in the UK and Europe in the areas of intellectual property and technology, contract, data protection and privacy, trade secrets and advertising and media. Our Hot Topics briefing is intended to keep you abreast of key … Continue Reading

UK: High Court judgment means online retailers must review how they use third-party brand names

Following last week’s High Court ruling in the claim brought by Lush against Amazon, online retailers targeting the UK should review how they use brand names on their websites and as search engine keywords to generate sponsored adverts, or risk liability for trade mark infringement.   The claim Lush, the well-known UK cosmetics company, owns a … Continue Reading

Sweepstakes and Contests: Should You Go International?

Sweepstakes have traditionally been widely used by marketers in the U.S., as they can be good at generating publicity and driving consumers to a company’s product (think Publisher’s Clearing House).   After all, who doesn’t love something for free?  In this digital age, sweepstakes are becoming even more popular as companies can better reach their consumers through social … Continue Reading

It’s Not Just Cricket: Protecting IP In Sport

Branding is the key to commercial success in sport. Just think: where would the New York Yankees be without their iconic NY logo? Or the Chicago Bulls without their iconic bull’s head? How much money would the Australian Football League (AFL) make if they didn’t own the logos for every team, and couldn’t sell official … Continue Reading

WIPO’s Brands Report Released

WIPO has released its latest global intellectual property report, with a focus on branding activities of organisations in the global marketplace. The report’s title is Brands: Reputation and Image in the Global Marketplace and provides new information about how global companies use their brands. For legal practitioners, in-house counsel and employees working in the branding space, it … Continue Reading
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