June 12, 2018 5:52 pm
Commercial Co-Ventures and Sweepstakes Promotions
Remember that song in the ‘90s from the C+C Music Factory called “Things That Make You Go Hmmm….” I guess I did when I came across some recent promotions. Perhaps these practice tips will stay with you longer than C+C’s 15 minutes of fame.
Bar Exam Sweepstakes
The set up: Most young lawyers-to-be are weighed down with tremendous debt after three years of law school, but they have the hope that by shelling out another $250 they’ll get that big Wall Street job to wash away their money problems while creating new emotional ones. This summer, a personal injury law firm (which I won’t name) currently has a sweepstakes running where a new law grad can enter to win his/her bar exam fee. (more…)
May 22, 2018 1:56 pm
“Beer: The cause and solution to all of life’s problems.”
Mr. Homer J. Simpson would love the recent case of a Massachusetts craft beer company that has been trying in federal court to get the employment website Glassdoor to turn the taps off and take down negative reviews about the company. Craft Beer Stellar filed an amended complaint in the District of Massachusetts, which is now subject to a motion to dismiss filed on May 11. The claims, defenses and legal issues raised are exactly what you would expect in a fight over negative online reviews.
For a refresher, we have previously addressed the issue of negative online reviews here and here. (more…)
May 15, 2018 9:00 am
As the esteemed Secretary of Defense under two presidents has said:
Reports that say something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.
I don’t know what category to put DFS in. Maybe we know that it’s a game of skill. Maybe we know that we don’t know that it’s a game of skill. And maybe we don’t know that we don’t know it’s a game of skill. While Donald Rumsfeld has made it clear as mud how we can consider this known/unknown conundrum, two industrial engineers sought out to know just what we know and don’t know, and as a result, now we know, in case it was previously unknown, that DFS is a game of skill. (more…)
May 14, 2018 1:58 pm
On May 14, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was unconstitutional – meaning it’s up to the states to decide whether to allow its residents to bet on sports. This may portend big changes to Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS).
In a previous post, The U.S. Supreme Court Tackles Sports Gambling Law, we wrote about the U.S. Supreme Court case Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association which dealt with the constitutionality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) – which prohibits sports gambling. On Monday, the Supremes issued a 7-2 decision striking down PASPA. (more…)
May 8, 2018 10:48 am
On April 23, 2018, 13 disgruntled senior citizens, led by a retired and disabled veteran who for seven years purchased hundreds of items from Publishers Clearing House (PCH) believing this would increase his chance of winning the PCH Sweepstakes, sued PCH in federal court in New York claiming PCH was guilty of a number of deceptive trade practices.
For years PCH has been the poster child for questionable sweepstakes and a lightning rod for investigations. Everyone knows it’s “You May Already Be a Winner” slogan (at least we do here), and that at any moment they may creep up to your house, ring the doorbell like a hyperactive kid on Halloween, and pounce on you with a ginormous winner’s check. And for years, consumers and regulators alike have been patrolling the PCH Prize Patrol, this time with a multi-million dollar lawsuit that reads like a primer on sweepstakes law. (more…)
May 2, 2018 4:36 pm
Advertising lawyers when giving advice to clients on promotional programs and advertising disclosures are always asked by their clients, why must we do it that way when XYZ company isn’t? The answer is usually somewhere between I don’t know why XYZ company is doing it that way and XYZ company is doing it wrong. The task is even more difficult when dealing with commercial co-ventures, since the regulations seem to slip the mind of many a brand.
I recently came across an ad for the new Apple® iPhone 8 (PRODUCT) RED™ which lists on the Apple website for $799 for the 64gb version and $949 for the 256 gb version (for those of you who would like to film a remake of The Ten Commandments). The Apple website states under a picture of the phone as follows:
“iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition are now available. Every purchase contributes directly to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.”
When you scroll down to the bottom of the page, it says “A portion of the proceeds from every (PRODUCT)RED purchase will go the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa.” (more…)