Archives: December 2015

Show Me the Money – When Taxes Can Turn Your Dream Home Into a Nightmare

It’s that time of year again, the 20th annual HGTV Dream Home 2016 Sweepstakes began December 29th. As the sponsor of this promotion has recognized, winning a mansion could put you in the dog house when you are socked with a hefty tax bill. I’ve written about this issue of the tax consequences of giving away expensive prizes in an article published in the Connecticut Post.

To avoid cooking Ramen noodles and mac and cheese on your brand-new Thermador® 36 inch Professional Series Pro Harmony standard depth dual fuel range (i.e., “oven”), you have the option of taking $900,000 instead so that your dream home doesn’t become a financial nightmare. (more…)

Please follow and like us:

I’m About to Deliver on 1/1/16 – Where Can I Get the Best Prizes?

On December 22, in my blog on the Miss Universe debacle, I related the story of the mother of baby Yuki Lin who was awarded $25,000 for giving birth at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day 2007 after temper tantrums arose over the fairness of the contest. I got to wondering, have these types of contests gone the way of the cloth diaper and candy cigarettes? Thankfully, no.

Here are just a few examples of what can you win if first sound you hear after the ball drops is a magical, shrill “I’m here” from your bouncing baby. (more…)

Please follow and like us:

Cause Marketing by the Numbers – What’s In It for Me?

There is a common belief that corporations must do everything with an eye to producing profits for shareholders. But that is not so. In fact, in its opinion in the Hobby Lobby case, the U.S. Supreme Court stated: “Modern corporate law does not require for-profit corporations to pursue profit at the expense of everything else, and many do not.” Brands can (and should) include cause marketing in their promotional campaigns. (And you don’t need to tell anyone, but doing so will probably increase your product awareness and bottom line!)

Consumer studies have shown: (more…)

Please follow and like us:

FTC Addresses Nativ(ity) Advertising Just in Time For Xmas

On Tuesday, the FTC issued an Enforcement Policy Statement on Deceptively Formatted Advertisements — a/k/a “native advertising”, along with guidelines for businesses. Simply put, native advertising is generally advertising that takes the form and style of the platform in which it appears in order to promote a product. Think of a BuzzFeed quiz on “5 Random Questions To Determine What Type of Sandwich You’d Be if You Were Reincarnated” that just happens to be sponsored by Subway.

In general, the FTC wants to make sure that consumers know that advertisements and promotional messages are just that, and do not imply or suggest that they’re independent, impartial, or from a source other than the sponsoring advertiser. The FTC’s expressed watchword is transparency.

Best practices include: (more…)

Please follow and like us:

Another One Bites the Dust – Daily Fantasy Sports Update

On Wednesday, the Illinois Attorney General declared daily fantasy sports illegal under Illinois gambling law.  The AG Lisa Madigan gave her opinion in response to a request from two legislators who are pushing to legalize this activity.  Interestingly, the AG believed the issue of whether it is a game of chance or a game of skill is irrelevant because any game played for money under Illinois law is illegal gambling.

The AG sent a letter to counsel for FanDuel and DraftKings expecting them to amend their Terms of Service to include Illinois as a prohibited state.

For now, Illinois joins New York, Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and Washington as states prohibiting daily fantasy sports. More to follow?

Please follow and like us:

And the Winner Is…

It’s now viral. Even if you had no interest in watching women get judged based upon how they look in swimwear (athletically speaking, of course), you know that on Sunday Steve Harvey announced Miss Colombia (the country, not Columbia the university, Steve) the winner of the Miss Universe Pageant and then minutes later, apologized and named Miss Philippines the winner. Was this the right thing to do? Donald Trump doesn’t think so; he wants both contestants to be named Miss Universe.

Let’s not forget that underneath it all the Miss Universe Pageant is a contest – with judges, judging criteria and rules. Like all contests, the rules control as a legal matter, but as a practical matter keeping positive public opinion is important. (more…)

Please follow and like us: