Locke Lord’s advertising, marketing and social media lawyers have extensive experience counseling global companies from the inception of products and services to commercialization and promotion. Our lawyers help domestic and foreign clients entering the U.S. market comply with all U.S. federal, state and local rules and regulations, including Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Food & Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, as well as state and federal consumer protection laws. We also provide in-depth knowledge and guidance regarding market norms and experience in constructing surveys and identifying evidence of substantiation required to support claims, which are often relied upon in private dispute resolution.
Our lawyers defend clients in proceedings brought by the FTC involving allegations of false, deceptive, and misleading advertising, as well as in actions filed by State Attorneys General for deceptive advertising and in false advertising class actions launched by consumer groups. Similarly in Europe, we have experience dealing with the United Kingdom’s independent regulator of advertising across all media, the Advertising Standards Authority, and bodies responsible for enforcement of radio and television advertising, the Office of Communications (Ofcom).
We regularly review advertising copy, product packaging materials and labeling requirements and oversee campaign implementation. We provide counsel on state and federal laws related to gift cards, direct mail, telemarketing and email marketing campaigns, including CAN-SPAM and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) compliance. In Europe, we advise on consumer protection regulations, misleading marketing regulations and self-regulatory schemes.
In addition, we regularly counsel clients on the application of the FTC’s endorsement guidelines to blogs, social media and other online initiatives and are familiar with state restrictions for insurance companies and other regulated industries regarding advertising and promotions. We are well versed in similar legislation and local practices in Europe and Asia.
Green Advertising & Marketing Claims
We assist clients in navigating the complex web of state and federal laws and regulations governing "greenwashing" and environmental claims in advertising and marketing. We have experience with advising clients on compliance with the environmental guides set forth by the FTC and various states. Finally, we have experience in counseling clients in avoiding traps in using environmental certification by third-party agencies.
We work with advertisers, agencies and their affiliated commercial production companies and studios, photographers, musicians and other content producers in all aspects of advertising campaigns. From the initial conception and idea development through post-production editing, we provide knowledgeable counsel regarding express and implied claims, substantiation, copyright and trademark usage and related issues. We also draft, negotiate and revise the contracts that govern the relationships of the various parties that contribute to a major advertising campaign. In sum, we provide the information necessary to make informed business decisions in a competitive marketplace and help negotiate the terms and relationships to get those decisions implemented.
Sweepstakes & Contests
We guide clients through anti-lottery and gambling laws, and direct mail regulations as they construct promotional campaigns including sweepstakes and contests. We draft rules, disclaimers and disclosures to ensure compliance with the complex web of state and federal laws governing promotions. We also counsel on the integration of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter as tools to expound or enable consumer participation. We help clients to identify legal risks and avoid legal problems relating to direct mail, telemarketing, e-mail, sweepstakes, skill contests, giveaways, coupons, loyalty programs, raffles, rebates and other promotions.
On compliance issues, clients turn to Locke Lord for advice on a wide range of laws and regulations affecting print and broadcast advertising as well as emerging and still evolving forms of digital advertising and marketing. We have counseled clients in areas such as Internet and mobile device social media advertising, green advertising, cyberstalking, keyword advertising and others.
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
We have the strategies and experience to assist clients in complying with the DMCA to avoid liability due to infringement, defamation and other risks of web postings by customers and third parties. We also have experience in sending demand letters under the DMCA to require website hosts and website operators to remove material that is infringing, defamatory or otherwise illegal.
Internet Website Review
Our lawyers represent clients in the review of Internet websites for copyright, trademark and product image issues, as well as for compliance with U.S. law. We set up programs for monitoring Internet auction websites and take action to remove infringing and counterfeit goods from those websites. We advise clients on defamation and libel issues in the context of Internet websites, chat rooms and bulletin boards. Our experience includes working out solutions to commercial disputes through alternative dispute resolution (mediation and arbitration), zealous advocacy in jury trials and litigation, as well as specialty representations before private review bodies such as the National Advertising Division (NAD).
Internet, Social Media, Domain Names & Cybersquatting
The internet has created a new age of international online advertising, marketing and sales. Locke Lord’s multi-disciplinary team of lawyers has extensive experience in representing clients on transactional, regulatory and litigation matters involving online advertising, eCommerce and Internet law. We assist clients with domain name selection and protection, online trademark misuse, electronic and other direct marketing privacy policies and issues.
We also are experienced in Internet domain name law. Our lawyers have successfully represented clients prosecuting, defending or acting as a mediator in ownership disputes of over 50 domain names under the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN) and Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy (UDRP) in arbitrations before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), located in Geneva, Switzerland.
We have represented clients in court actions under the U.S. Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act involving domain names. Our accomplishments, in particular, have been in representing clients in "in rem" actions under the U.S. Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, where suit is brought against the domain name itself because the holder of the domain name is domiciled in a foreign country not subject to personal jurisdiction under U.S. law.