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Social Media, Sweepstakes, and Other Promotions – A Compliance Primer for Trademark Practitioners
Discussion outline




I. Social Media as a Marketing Tool

  • Potential Legal Issues/Risks:

1. Copyright Infringement
2. Trademark Infringement
3. Violations of Rights of Publicity and Rights of Privacy
4. Advertising Laws and Claim Substantiation
5. FTC/Regulatory Challenges
6. Defamation
7. Use of Your Content by Others

II. Online Disclosures and Social Media
  • Disclosures are necessary to prevent an online ad claim from being deceptive or unfair. These must be clear and conspicuous. 
  • Complete information can be found here.

III. Sweepstakes on Social Media – Sites’ Terms

  • Typically, sweepstakes are subject to site’s Terms and Conditions. 
  • Include a broad right to cancel the sweepstakes in case issues arise with the site.
  • Facebook – Promotions are specifically addressed in Facebook’s “Facebook Pages Terms”, which were revised on May 14, 2013.
  • TwitterGuidelines for contests
  • YouTubeContest Policies and Guidelines
IV. Endorsements and Testimonials
  • Updated guidelines were published in 2009.
V. Amended COPPA Rule
  • The deadline for complying with the amended COPPA Rule was July 1, 2013.
VI. Sweepstakes, Promotions, or Contests of Skill Checklist

VII. Potential Discussion Topics
  • Avoiding Consideration or Illegal Lotteries
  • Risks of User Generated Content
  • Disclosures
  • Privacy Implications
  • What are the proper codes of conduct in mobile marketing?