Tag Archives: promotions

ILN Today Post

FCC Proposes $13.3M Fine Against Sinclair Broadcast Group for Apparently Violating Sponsorship Identification Rules

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed to fine Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (Sinclair) $13,376,200 because it apparently failed to make required disclosures regarding paid-for broadcast programming. The proposed fine is the largest ever under the FCC’s sponsorship identification rules and is part of the growing trend by regulators taking serious action to ensure that relevant material information is disclosed to consumers in an appropriate manner.

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FTC Announces First COPPA Action Involving Connected Toys

A Hong Kong-based electronic toy manufacturer and its U.S. subsidiary agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) $650,000 to settle allegations that they violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by collecting personal information from children without providing appropriate notice and consent, and by failing to take reasonable steps to secure the data that they collected. Notably, this is the FTC’s first COPPA case involving connected toys, but it may not be its last, as connected toys continue to play a more prominent role in children’s lives.

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Hall & Wilcox’s 1 July promotions

Leading independent business law firm Hall & Wilcox is pleased to announce one partner and ten senior lawyer appointments, effective 1 July 2017. The promotions are across the firm’s Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane offices and will further bolster the firm’s insurance, litigation, corporate, employment, superannuation and property teams.

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Trampoline Sellers Settle FTC Charges Over Alleged Fake Logos, Websites and Reviews

Two California-based brothers agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges arising from their efforts to market and sell trampolines through allegedly deceptive online endorsements and misleading review websites.

The FTC’s Allegations

The FTC contended that Son “Sonny” Le and Bao “Bobby” Le sold Infinity and Olympus Pro trampolines on three websites that displayed logos of the Trampoline Safety of America, Bureau of Trampoline Review and Top Trampoline Review.  These three logos linked to their respective websites, which purported to give prospective purchasers objective information about trampolines, including unbiased expert reviews of specific brands and models, and ratings based on safety, performance and other attributes.

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Amazon, FTC Withdraw Appeal of Decision Holding Amazon Liable for Billing Parents for Children’s Unauthorized In-App Charges

April 26, 2017

Nearly three years after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) first charged that Amazon had unlawfully billed parents for millions of dollars in children’s unauthorized in-app charges – and about one year after a federal district court in Washington agreed with the FTC, but denied its request for an injunction – the case is over. As a result, Amazon soon will refund up to $70 million in in-app charges to injured consumers.

Background
In 2014, the FTC sued Amazon, Apple and Google, claiming that the billing of parents for in-app purchases incurred by their children without the parents’ express informed consent violated Section 5 of the FTC Act. Apple settled with the FTC and agreed to refund $32.5 million to consumers; Google also settled and agreed to refund up to $19 million to consumers. Amazon refused to settle, and the FTC moved for summary judgment against it.

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Beware the legal traps hiding in freemium games

Free-to-pay, or “freemium,” games are not only wildly popular, they’re hugely profitable—with top earners pulling in over a million dollars a day. Some of the biggest grossing titles you’ve probably heard of include Mobile Strike (made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger and some very expensive Super Bowl advertising), Clash of Clans, Pokémon GO, Candy Crush and 8 Ball Pool. “Freemium,” of course, is a misnomer. While all of these games are free to download and play (to an extent), they generate revenue through a simple combination of in-game purchases and advertising. In-game purchases can include everything from additional lives and gold coins for spending in-game, to character upgrades, special “skins” and quicker completion of activities. The financial beauty of the model is that most in-game purchases are effectuated through an existing account through the applicable app platform or store, so that users may not have any real notion that they are spending money. We’ve all likely heard of or seen stories of users spending thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands, of dollars on in-game purchases.

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NAD Action Requiring the Kardashians and Fit Tea to Disclose Their Connections in Social Media Posts

As part of its ongoing monitoring program, the National Advertising Division (NAD) reviewed endorsements by Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner (the Kardashians) that failed to disclose that they were paid to endorse a dietary supplement known as “Fit Tea” in their social media posts. In response to the NAD’s action, Fit Tea revised its social media posts to disclose Fit Tea’s material connections with its celebrity endorsers.

Background
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Endorsement and Testimonial Guides (FTC Endorsement Guides) require clear disclosure of any material connections between an advertiser and its influencers and other endorsers, including when their endorsements are posted on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. The FTC contends that, in the absence of such disclosure, consumers might believe that an endorsement on social media is a spontaneous recommendation of a product made without any compensation rather than a paid endorsement.

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Staples Settles Consumer Class Action Over Deceptive Rewards Program Practices

Staples has agreed to pay $2 million to end a class action filed in California federal court alleging that the company engaged in deceptive rewards program practices.

In particular, the class action alleged that Staples misled consumers with respect to how (and how many) rewards points will be accrued when consumers apply coupons to their transactions. The high value settlement for the retailer illustrates the importance of having clear and transparent terms and conditions in place for rewards programs, and the need to align actual rewards redemption practices with both the terms as well as general advertising for the program.

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FTC’s First COPPA Action Against Mobile Ad Network Highlights Risks for Operators As Well

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its first action against a mobile ad network, InMobi, for violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), claiming that the provider collected geolocation data from millions of consumers, including children, without their consent. Under the settlement, InMobi will pay the FTC $950,000 in civil penalties (reduced from $4 million, the largest COPPA penalty to date), delete all inappropriately collected data and implement a comprehensive privacy program.

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Self-Regulatory Principles Applied for First Time to Mobile Apps and Discussed at DAA and ASRC Events

The advertising industry’s self-regulatory enforcement group issued its first actions applying its mobile principles.

The Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program (the Accountability Program) administered by the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC) issued three decisions applying the Application of Self-Regulatory Principles to the Mobile Environment (the Mobile Principles) under the Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising (the OBA Principles) set forth by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA). The Mobile Principles address the unique aspects of the mobile environment and are designed to maintain a consistent approach to notice and choice for interest-based advertising (IBA).

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