Operating a Facebook page or "pinning" on Pinterest
may not seem like advertising, but these activities are
interactions with customers that are subject to the same laws that
govern more traditional forms of advertising. Many companies are
making advertising law mistakes that could be prevented by
following a few key principles:
Avoid misleading statements regarding your products or
Any statements about your products or services must be true, and
not misleading. Review posts and tweets carefully, from the
customer's point of view. Advertising claims must also be
substantiated (i.e. supported by evidence) particularly when they
concern health, safety, or product performance or comparisons.
Substantiation does not need to be included in a post, but you
should have it in case an advertising claim is challenged.
Avoid concealed product endorsements by identifying
Identify yourself accurately, and disclose circumstances
surrounding product reviews. Employees blogging or tweeting about
the company's products should accurately identify their
affiliation with the company. Similarly, bloggers failing to
disclose receipt of a free product in exchange for a review, or
companies paying bloggers for reviews without disclosure of these
facts, are engaging in unlawful deceptive advertising
Follow the rules for contests and
Promotional contests are carefully regulated. Learn and follow
state law as well as the provider's rules regarding contests
and promotions in social media. For each promotional contest, post
and follow contest rules that comply with laws where the eligible
contestants reside. Also, keep up with changes in provider's
policies. Facebook's policies are updated frequently.
Don't use copyrighted material, trademarks, or
anyone's name or likeness without permission.
Just because a video, photo, or other content is online does not
mean that it can be re-posted. Ensure that you own the copyright in
material you are posting, or have permission from the copyright
owner. Don't post customer names or likenesses unless you have
their permission. Avoid using other parties' trademarks if the
use could be confusing or imply an association or affiliation that
Consumers provide massive amounts of personal information via
social media, yet are increasingly concerned about privacy. A
website analytic services, but it can also help build customer
business must do what it says it will.
Corporate tweeters or bloggers – employees who post promotional and often entertaining commentary on behalf of their employers’ businesses – add much of their own personal brand – their voice, their opinions, their snarky remarks – to the information they are disseminating on the company’s behalf.
In a First Report and Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry released at the end of March in a proceeding begun in 2003, the Federal Communications Commission continued its comprehensive review of its rules, policies and procedures governing radiofrequency radiation and limits on exposure to human beings.