I am truly excited this year about the Government Affairs Fly-In 2017 and our companion event, the ERSP Summit, which will take place May 23-24 right here in Washington, D.C.!
This year’s ERSP Summit will feature two of the Federal Trade Commission’s leading enforcement officials: Lois Greisman, Associate Director of Marketing Practices, and Frank Gorman, Assistant Director of the FTC’s Division of Enforcement.
Back in January I alerted you to how Colorado’s “Rat Your Customer Out” Law would affect marketers. The big picture view is that the U.S. Supreme Court recently declined the review of a case that would require marketers to either collect sales tax on customer purchases in Colorado or report details of the purchase to the state tax collector.
It’s been a “Yuge” year so far.
Last week I shared a “beautiful” cheat sheet to help Direct Response Marketers survive the Trump era and this week I’ve got something better.
What you might ask?
Well the only thing that can trump that would be the inside scoop straight from the FTC. That’s why I reached out to my friend and long-time FTC insider Lesley Fair. She agreed to visit with ERA’s Government Affairs Committee to tell us “what’s really going on” so you can do a safety dance.
Thankfully the FTC agreed to the visit as well. That’s why we love the Federal Trade Commission (and you should, too!).
You suspect that your business experienced a data breach. Maybe an employee lost a laptop, or a hacker got into your customer database, or information was inadvertently posted on your website. Whatever happened, you’re probably wondering what to do next.
The FTC’s new Data Breach Response: A Guide for Business outlines the steps to take and whom to contact. Here’s a glimpse of what’s inside.
Earlier this summer, our GA Committee had a super treat from our friends at the Digital Advertising Alliance. We were joined by Geni Barton, Vice President and Director of the Online Interest-Based Advertising Self-Regulatory Council for the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
Now that’s a long title!
For many years, the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has been recognized as an effective means to self-regulation by industry members, regulators, and legislators. Now, the program that helps to build consumer confidence in advertising has gained recognition for its recent expansion into covering lead generation marketing by the staff of the FTC.
There was a lot of interesting dialogue regarding advertising self-regulation at the ERA D2C Convention in Las Vegas earlier this month. ERSP Director Peter Marinello moderated a Masters Series panel entitled, "D2R - It's Hot and It's Not What You Think." It featured Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, Venable’s Jeffrey Knowles, Invictus’s Bill Knowlton, and Manatt’s Marc Roth.
Protecting one’s brand today requires more foresight and vigilance than ever. The Internet and cutting-edge technologies enable individual infringers to attain wide distribution of counterfeits with decreased chances of detection. Whether creating multiple accounts to sell counterfeit goods on popular e-commerce platforms or dealing in trade secrets and stolen intellectual property through the anonymity of the “dark web,” infringers have multiple ways to maximize profits while minimizing manufacturing costs and the risk of getting caught. Here are some trends worth noting in intellectual property and brand protection for 2016.
In March, a new federal law took effect that places additional pressure on importers to develop compliance systems for their supply chains, including identification of items potentially made with forced labor. The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (Trade Act) prohibits the import into the United States of goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured in a foreign country by convict, forced, or indentured labor. The new law comes at a time when federal and state regulators are turning their focus to supply chain management as a way to combat forced labor overseas.
I am often asked: “Legally, is there a difference between claiming that a product is "natural" as opposed to "all natural" or "100 percent natural"? While I have done my best to answer that question without any guidance from the government, we finally know what the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) thinks—at least for now.
As I previously reported, in April the FTC announced that it had settled four cases against personal care companies that claimed their products were “all natural” or “100 percent natural” even though they contained synthetic chemicals.
“Omnichannel” may be the term du jour, but it’s business as usual for electronic retailers. For more than 30 years, they have introduced innovative ways of communicating with prospective buyers—and have wrestled with the legal challenges that creative formats can present.
Nowhere is the advantage of experience more apparent than in native advertising—content that bears a similarity to the news, feature articles, product reviews, and other material that surrounds it.
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”―Oscar Wilde
The date was Feb. 11, 2003. It was colder than usual in New York City that winter morning when FTC Chairman Tim Muris stepped to the podium to address the Cable Television Advertising Bureau. Unbeknownst to those in the audience, things were about to get much chillier. Chairman Muris called everyone’s attention to the screen over his right-hand shoulder and proceeded to show an excerpt from an infomercial for “The Enforma System.” The segment featured a succession of delicious, mouth-watering foods like eggs, bacon, sausage, French-fried potatoes, fried onion rings, hamburgers, and lasagna; thin models in bathing suits and claims like, “You can eat anything you want and never, ever, ever have to diet again.”
Recently, ERA spoke with Manatt’s Richard Lawson, a partner in the firm’s Consumer Protection practice, who, until recently, was Director of the Consumer Protection Division for the Florida Attorney General, about a fundamental part of the direct response ecosystem—payment processing services. Lawson shared his perspective on why enforcement efforts are picking up in the sector and the best ways processors and independent sales organizations (ISOs) can protect themselves in light of heightened regulatory scrutiny.
If you have worked in electronic retailing for any amount of time, you have either asked this question or been asked by someone in the industry. It’s an appropriate question to ask. We face a period of change. Our industry, our association, and even our companies are changing, and it is not always clear that the strategies that have worked for the past 25-plus years will remain viable.
So, what is ERA good for? The answer is many of things, especially in times like these.
In DRTV, you’ve probably worked on a campaign that includes a URL in the commercial. Because who doesn’t have a website these days?! If you haven’t worked on a campaign of this nature, you’ve seen a spot on TV with a URL, so you know this call-to-action is here to stay. In fact, it’s growing!
There was a definite buzz in the air at the ERA Government Affairs Fly-In 2016, which took place on May 25 in Washington, D.C. Not only were attendees ready to hear the latest on Operation Choke Point and FTC policy surrounding digital media, but they were also excited about discussing this year’s Presidential race and what the outcome might mean for our industry.
This year’s ERSP Summit cast a bright spotlight on self-regulation with the theme, “Self-Regulation in The Changing World of Direct Response Advertising.” On May 24, legal experts and direct response marketing professionals converged at SunTrust Headquarters in Washington, D.C., to discuss key trends and issues affecting the industry today, and take an honest look at where direct response advertising is heading. The half-day conference addressed such topics as: the regulatory focus on the lead generation and payment processing industries; recent developments at the FTC; and how emerging advertising platforms have created new challenges for the direct response industry.
Direct response advertisers face a number of hurdles in getting the word out about their products, mostly from FTC regulations put in place to protect consumers. But class action lawsuits are a particular source of consternation—not only are they difficult to predict and avert, but some also seem to be filed in search only of profit.
What makes an infomercial (long-form DRTV) a form of native advertising? Is there a fine line between entertainment/capturing viewers’ attention and an advertisement? And, does context matter when using advertising as programming? These are just some of the questions that will be addressed during this month’s ERA TV Council call.
TV Council co-chair Caitlin Haire and guest speaker Amy Ralph Mudge, partner at Venable LLP, will offer insight into DRTV’s history with the native advertising format, legal factors, along with the impact of regulation as a result of native advertising. What’s more, they will discuss the state of infomercials/DRTV native advertising today.