Interactive Counsel

Arent Fox's interactive media law blog - latest news and trends in advertising, data security & privacy, and IP.

Interactive Counsel
Promotions, Sweepstakes & Contests, Social Media, User-Generated Content
Recent Changes to Facebook Promotions Guidelines is Good News for Marketers

If you’re a business owner thinking about running a promotion on Facebook, your life just got a little bit easier. Facebook recently revised its Promotions Guidelines and is now allowing businesses to run promotions directly on their page timelines instead of requiring them to run promotions through Facebook applications (apps). That means that if you maintain an official Facebook page for your business or brand and want to run a sweepstakes or contest to publicize your business, you can now collect entries by having users post on your page, or by asking them to like or comment on a page post.

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California to Require Tracking Disclosures in Online Privacy Policies

Beginning January 1, 2014, websites and online service operators that collect consumers’ personally identifiable information will likely be forced to update their privacy policies to comply with a new law in California. Existing California law requires website and online service operators that collect personally identifiable information such as names, addresses, or social security numbers, to post privacy policies on their websites. Recently signed into law by the Governor of California, AB 370, “An Act to Amend Section 22575 of the Business and Professions Code, Relating to Consumers” will require website operators to add a section to privacy policies disclosing how they respond to “do not track” signals or other mechanisms that provide consumers a choice regarding the collection of personally identifiable information.

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Fake But Loving It: Concern Growing Over False Reviews on Yelp

Companies are advised to thoroughly investigate the companies they hire to manage their online reputations and reviews to ensure that only truthful and accurate reviews and comments from actual consumers are posted online. A company that does not thoroughly investigate the companies they use could find themselves in violation of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (the 'Guides'). The Guides set forth the principles that the FTC uses when evaluating testimonials and endorsements.

The FTC and other regulators recognize that consumer endorsements and testimonials are a powerful selling tool for businesses and that some companies are exploiting that by writing and posting fake online reviews. Recent studies have estimated that almost 20% of Yelp reviews are fake or suspicious and filtered by Yelp’s fraud algorithm. To combat these tactics, regulators are investigating and taking action.

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Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.