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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

FTC Cracks Down on Health Claims by CBD Companies

The Federal Trade Commission has just announced a series of six settlements, which included individual monetary penalties, for false advertising by cannabidiol (CBD) companies. The targeted companies made claims that a variety of products containing CBD, including oils, balms, gummies, coffee, and other goods, could treat cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, and other serious ailments. … Continue Reading

CMA Moves to Investigate ‘Green’ Claims

On 2 November 2020, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it will be investigating descriptions and labels used to promote products and services claiming to be ‘eco-friendly’ and whether they could mislead consumers. The concern for the CMA is that an increase in demand for sustainability could lead to businesses making misleading, … Continue Reading

Complying with ASA Rules During a Pandemic

The UK’s Advertising Standards Agency recently provided some useful guidance on compliance with its CAP Code that will assist promoters, influencers, agencies and brands as they continue to navigate the various ASA rules during the COVID-19 crisis. Dealing with unexpected events whilst running promotions Section 8 of the CAP Code governs promotions, and includes rules … Continue Reading

Whoops! Whopper ad banned by the ASA

The advertising regulator in the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned Burger King’s ads for its new ‘Rebel Whopper’, a plant-based alternative to its hugely successful ‘Whopper’ beef burger. The ASA ruled that the ads were misleading, because the overall impression of the ads was that the Rebel Whopper was suitable for vegans … Continue Reading

Despite the Coronavirus, the ASA is still doing business as usual

Although Britain remains gripped by the coronavirus lockdown, for the UK advertising sector regulator, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), it is business as usual. We highlight a few recent rulings, one on e-cigarettes and two on gender sterotyping/objectification. E-cigarette and vaping ads Following our blog post at the start of the year on the ASA … Continue Reading

False Advertising Dangers Lurk in the Age of COVID-19 – Redux

As we previewed in our earlier post, the COVID-19 pandemic raises new and heightened false advertising concerns for companies seeking to capitalize through mentions of the virus in marketing or consumer outreach efforts. During this harried time, both the unwary – and the well-informed – advertiser should navigate carefully to avoid the trap of consumer … Continue Reading

False Advertising Claims Lurk in the Age of COVID-19

Companies around the world are scrambling to respond to the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  We have all received many emails and seen a plethora of ads and social media posts by manufacturers, retailers and service providers about steps they are taking to respond to COVID-19 related challenges.  The messaging is vital for … Continue Reading

Ambush Marketing in the Digital Age

With the Olympics and men’s football UEFA European Championships taking place next year, alongside a summer full of music festivals, brands will be keen to ensure that they fully-realise the benefits of their investment in sponsorships. However, not all brands will be gaining exposure through the traditional medium of activating sponsorships with athletes, teams, and … Continue Reading

Spreading The Influence: FTC Issues New Guidance for Influencers

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) continues to focus on influencer advertising, as part of its consumer protection mission.  On November 5, 2019, the FTC released an instructive “Disclosure 101” Guide and “Advice for Social Media Influencers” video to help influencers understand their legal obligations when they are spreading their influence through social media posts, … Continue Reading

Legal Issues to Consider when Planning Prize Promotions

International prize promotions are regularly used by brands to engage with consumers through the use of social media and other platforms.  In a recent publication, team member, Carlton Daniel, discusses the legal issues marketers should be considered when running such promotions. The publication addresses the gambling laws of various jurisdictions and the requirements for prize … Continue Reading
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