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New Social Media Guidance for 2024 Olympians

The opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games represents one of the most honorable achievements of any athlete’s career. And while Olympians may have always been trailblazers in the world of sports, today’s competitors are more than just athletes – they are brand ambassadors, marketing representatives, and social media influencers. While an athlete’s ability to … Continue Reading

The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act Enjoined

On September 18, 2023, NetChoice, LLC — a national trade association with members from the tech and social media industry — obtained a preliminary injunction from the District Court for the Northern District of California preventing the State of California from enforcing the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (“AADC” or the “Act”). The reason? The … Continue Reading

Navigating the Regulatory Maze: Understanding the ASA Ruling re. Supreme CBD

Clear disclosure of an ad is of paramount importance in the advertising world, and we have discussed this previously in our blogs here and here. In the ever-evolving landscape of advertising regulations, the recent decision by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) regarding social media posts by former footballers in relation to Supreme CBD’s products … Continue Reading

Harmful gender stereotypes or a double standard? Calvin Klein and GIRLvsCANCER ads banned in the UK

The authors thank Zarah Bhatti for her contributions to this post. The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned two ads for breach of the rule prohibiting the use of gender stereotypes in advertising, which was introduced in 2019. We commented at the time that these restrictions were likely to see a rise in number … Continue Reading

The rising regulatory tide on environmental claims – Shell found in breach of the Advertising Standards Authority’s rules, again!

Last month, oil giant, Shell, was caught out again by UK regulator – the Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA“) – for breaching its rules against making misleading environmental claims. Previous ASA ruling against Shell This latest ruling is reminiscent of a 2020 ASA ruling against Shell for a radio ad, where it used the claim “Drive … Continue Reading

No First Amendment Right to Confuse Consumers, High Court Holds

Today, in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment will not protect an infringers’ use of a confusingly similar trademark for its goods – even if it is a humorous parody. Justice Kagan writing for the Court held that the First Amendment does not give infringers license to trade on the … Continue Reading

The Subvertising Movement: Protecting your Brand from “Brandalism”

The authors would like to thank Eben Kurtz for his valuable contribution to this post. Heard of the climate activists defacing advertisements, billboards and bus shelters? Brandalism is a recent anti-advertising movement which uses a brand’s own assets and marketing channels against the brand itself, through replacing legitimate advertisements with spoofs and parodies (known as “subvertising”). … Continue Reading

Rare Enforcement Notice Issued by UK Advertising Regulator for “Hot Air” Ads

On 9 March 2023, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) took the rare step of issuing an Enforcement Notice against any advertiser distributing ads for electric plug-in mini-heaters that claim – directly or indirectly – that such products are a viable alternative to central heating. As noted in our previous blog, the ASA recently banned a … Continue Reading

National Advertising Division’s 2022 Annual Report: An Advertising Compliance Roadmap for the Year Ahead

“[N]o legacy is so rich as honesty”1 might fairly summarize the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s theme to the advertising industry for 2023, as gleaned from the National Advertising Division (NAD) 2022 Annual Report. “FTC leadership,” the NAD Report elaborates, “sent a consistent, strong message that national advertisers should take a hard look at their own … Continue Reading

Too Good a Deal? JC Penny Hit with Class Action Suit Over False Reference Pricing

Competition in the world of online sales is intense, but companies that used inflated original prices to lure customers face consequences. JC Penny, for example, has been hit with a class action lawsuit in the Southern District of California over its alleged advertising practice of using “false reference pricing.” The three-count complaint claims the nationwide … Continue Reading

UK Regulator Bans Misleading “Hot Air” Ads

The cost-of-living crisis is a concern for all consumers, with many carrying out research to understand ways that spending can be reduced. One major issue during the cold winter days is the cost of heating bills. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned four separate adverts which relate to electric plug-in mini heaters. All the … Continue Reading

Gambling on Top Flight Footballers: ASA Ruling

The Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”) has issued its first ruling under the new rules that prohibit gambling ads with “strong appeal” to under-18s, providing a useful example as to how the new rules will be applied. Updated Gambling Ad Rules As covered in more detail in a previous article for this blog, on 1 October … Continue Reading

God Save the Queen’s Royal Warrant Holders

With gratitude to Heloise Morle for her contributions to this post. In a modern world of celebrity and influencer endorsements, there is arguably one endorsement that still trumps others: the Royal Warrant. The granting of an English monarch’s royal seals of approval dates back to 1155 – when King Henry II granted the Weavers’ Company … Continue Reading

China: Design Patents and the Metaverse

The concept of Metaverse as an online framework for economic interoperability was born in and around 2020. Since then, giant companies all over the world ― especially in the IT, entertainment and fashion businesses ― have begun to launch products and solutions related to the ever developing Metaverse. Fashion brands, artists and entertainers, among others, … Continue Reading

China: Recycled Packaging and Trademark Infringement, a Questionable Decision in the Tsingtao Beer Case

Back in 2020, the famous Chinese brew company Tsingtao Beer filed an administrative complaint for trademark infringement against a smaller Chinese competitor for the use of recycled Tsingtao beer bottles. The smaller brewery was filling legitimately recycled Tsingtao bottles with their own beer. The recycled bottles did not bear the Tsingtao labels and marks, which … Continue Reading

UK regulators crack down on ‘greenwashing’

Within seven months[1] of the UK regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA“), announcing its review of green claims in the fashion retail sector, it has opened an investigation into such environmental claims made by various fashion businesses, including ASOS and George at Asda.  This comes less than a year after all businesses were put … Continue Reading

Crackdown on Gambling Ads Featuring Sports Stars: New Advertising Rules

As reported in our previous article published in 2019, the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) have been focussing for some time on protecting children and young persons through their regulation of gambling advertising. Under the current rules, gambling ads are prohibited only if they appeal ‘particularly’ to under-18s, which CAP considers means if an ad … Continue Reading

UK Regulator Ramps Up Action Against Greenwashing

Following the Competition and Markets Authority’s (“CMA“) publication of the Green Claims Code (as discussed in our earlier blog), the UK regulator is now moving forward with its greenwashing investigation, currently focusing on the fashion industry, with additional industries expected to be reviewed in future.… Continue Reading

UK Regulators Show Unjustified Green Claims in Advertising the Red Light

“Green”, “organic”, “eco-friendly”, “recyclable”, “natural”. These are just a few ‘green claims’ that consumers are increasingly used to seeing on the products and services they buy. However, how accurate are these claims and are organisations using them correctly? UK regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has now published the Green Claims Code to help … Continue Reading

Incompetent #ad Disclosure – the ASA Issues Warning to Influencers

The ASA has issued a stark warning to advertisers: non-compliance with ASA rules on disclosures in advertising is rife and that is unacceptable. The regulator now plans to get tough with those in breach. We blog regularly on Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) scrutiny of advertising rules in the social media landscape. The ASA has now … Continue Reading

The Danger of the Social Media Filter – ASA Rules Adverts are Misleading

The beauty industry faces a constant challenge in relation to the truthfulness of the products it sells. Through the power of social media, beauty brands use influencers to endorse their products, adding a dimension of apparent authenticity to their advertising. In an attempt to regulate such practices, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has focused on … Continue Reading

Buy Now, Pay Later: New Advertising Guidance

With online shopping at all-time high, ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) options are becoming increasingly popular. BNPL is an option that enables customers to delay paying for goods or allows them to pay in instalments. The service typically bears interest which consumers have to pay. It differs from hire purchase because with BNPL, the customer … Continue Reading
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