Intellectual Property

Advertising, Marketing & Social Media

Whatever your issue is in the world of advertising and promotion, our team has you covered.

Meet the team

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).

Campaign Counsel

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.

Advertising Production

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.

Social Media

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.

Representative Experience

Advertising Review & Compliance

  • Represented a major sugar marketer and distributor with counseling on substantiation of advertising claims on food packaging and compliance with FDA regulations on low calorie claims.
  • Represented a educational publishing and seminar firm with counseling on substantiation of advertising claims.
  • Represented a major rice food manufacturer and marketer with counseling on substantiation of advertising claims on food packaging.
  • Represented a major powdered mix food manufacturer and marketer with counseling on substantiation of advertising claims on food packaging and compliance with FDA regulations on health claims.
  • Represented the advertising agency of a major national telephone company to review TV, print, radio, out-of-home and online advertisements to ensure trademark and copyright compliance, identify claims and evaluate substantiation.
  • Represented an alternative energy company to ensure product claims relating to energy savings were not misleading and were properly substantiated.
  • Represented a major health products manufacturer to ensure compliance with FTC and FDA rules for its package labeling.
  • Represented a leading sporting goods retailer to ensure proper labeling of private-label food and sports products.
  • Represented an electronics manufacturer to identify express and implied claims on its website and evaluate the adequacy of its substantiation relating to such claims.
  • Advised and cleared ads for advertising agency’s national and local campaigns.

Promotion Marketing Review

  • Representing a seminar company in drafting promotional rules for referral of friends as customers without violating rights of privacy.

Sweepstakes & Contests Review

  • Represent power tools manufacturer with counseling on substantiation of advertising claims and in preparing and reviewing rules for sweepstakes and similar promotions.
  • Represent retail department store chains, restaurant chains, financial services companies, insurance companies and others in preparation and review of rules for sweepstakes and similar promotions.
  • Represented a major national retailer and a leading online dating website in the development of a comprehensive sweepstakes planning guide that includes form rules, guidance, legal findings and a manual of how to build a compliant sweepstakes.
  • Represented online video game and entertainment site in construction of various contests and sweepstakes.
  • Represented multiple television stations in a coordinated national sweepstakes.

Domain Name Litigation & Protection

  • Represented an online educational publisher in a Anti-Cybersquatting suit after losing a UDRP arbitration on the same domain names.
  • Represented a publisher in series of Ant-Cybersquatting suits and obtained transfer of the disputed domain names.
  • Represented an online seminar company in a series of UDRP arbitrations resulting in an order of transfer of domain names.
  • Represented an educational website operator in a UDRP arbitration and obtained transfer of several disputed domain names.
  • Represented an oil tool manufacturer in an Anti-Cybersquatting action and obtained an order of transfer of the disputed domain name.
  • Represented the owner of a domain name in defense of suit claiming the owner had a binding e-mail agreement to sell the domain name at a cheap price.
  • Represented a publisher in designing and operating a domain name watching program to detecting conflicting domain names, write letters demanding transfer and obtain recovery of the conflicting domain names.
  • Represented international automotive supply company against former distributor in theft of domain name to retrieve domain name.
  • Created and executed global program to establish defensive network of domain names comprising variations on client's principal trademark, through acquisition of domain names from adverse parties, without payment and for the most part without formal proceedings.
  • Represented a chain of music stores in cancelling the trademark registration of a competing online retailer and prosecuting a UDRP arbitration resulting in transfer of the domain name.
  • Represented a major nonprofit organization with various domain name arbitration disputes in U.S. and Europe against various cybersquatters.
  • Represented brand owners against Internet companies in trademark and cybersquatting litigation which resulted in the return of infringing domain names.
  • Represented Internet companies in numerous trademark and anti-cybersquatting litigation and cease and desist matters without any liability being found against our client.

Social Networking Compliance

  • Represented cigarette manufacturer in making numerous objections to misuse of client's trademarks in listings on retailing and social networking websites including eBay and MySpace.
  • Represented national affiliation agency and various other clients in drafting social media branding and usage policies.
  • Represented major online dating service in social-media advertising campaign to comply with advertising laws and site rules.
  • Represented major national retailer, online dating service and others in constructing sweepstakes promotion advertised on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.
  • Represented advertising agency navigate the FTC’s endorsement and testimonial guidelines in collaboration with an online local directory website build-out.

Website Review & Compliance

  • Complete comprehensive review of website privacy policy and terms of use, including compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act and FTC guidance.
  • Regularly advise client in connection with websites on the use of electronic signatures (such as “I agree” or “I accept”) in connection with financial services products.
  • Regularly advise insurance companies on licensing disclosures required in websites by various insurance codes.
  • Assist clients in disclosure and consent terms in websites for providing consumer disclosures exclusively via e-delivery.
  • Represented online auction website in the preparation of terms of use for bidders and contracts with vendors and sellers of listed items.
  • Advised online auction website on implementation of anti-counterfeiting measures and anti-piracy program covering items sold through site.
Meet the team