Category Archives: Advertising Matter

Italian Government Goes Ballistic, Claims U.S. Gun Ad Infringes Its Copyright

David-rifle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By: Brian J. Meli

Say what you will about copyright law, it can lead to some seriously entertaining (and absurd) disputes.

Take this week’s news story about American gun manufacturer ArmaLite Inc.’s use of an altered image of Michelangelo’s David in an ad promoting its .50 caliber AR-50 assault rifle. In the ad (reproduced above) the famous renaissance statue is depicted cradling the high powered rifle instead of its signature slingshot; a weapon which, had David had actually wielded it, would’ve allowed him to fell most of the Philistine army before lunch.

The image has drawn harsh rebukes from the Italian government, and led to the Italian Culture Minister to call for the ad to be pulled, claiming: “an image of David, armed, offends and infringes the [Italian] law.” (loosely translated).

Really?

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Michael Jordan Goes One-On-One Against The First Amendment

Jordan

By: Brian J. Meli

When Michael Jordan sued Jewel Food Stores, purveyors of the Jewel-Osco supermarkets, for running a full page ad in Sports Illustrated (see above) congratulating the retired basketball superstar on his induction into the Hall of Fame, reactions from Chicagoans ranged from bewilderment to outright resentment. What could arguably the greatest sports icon of the modern era possibly gain by trying to squeeze a few extra bucks (by MJ’s standards) from a local supermarket chain that just wanted to celebrate his achievement? The ad, after all, wasn’t really an ad, so much as a printed tribute to a basketball legend. It was a symbolic gesture of local pride and support; not a shallow attempt at promoting a half-off sale on paper towels, Jewel maintained. Well, Jordan and his lawyers disagreed. They argued that an ad is an ad. And whatever its purported intent, this ad misappropriated Michael’s valuable publicity rights, which Jewel used to its commercial advantage.

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What’s The Story With All Those Mobile Coverage Maps?

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By: Brian J. Meli

It happened one Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago. I was stuck indoors, perusing the day’s schedule of college basketball games and girding for the latest in a spate of nasty New England nor’easters, when I came across that now ubiquitous Verizon Wireless ad where regular people are asked to interpret brightly colored ink blots that turn out to be maps representing the nationwide network data coverage areas (or lack thereof) of Verizon’s competitors. After the interviewees take turns interpreting the expressionist-inspired shapes as depicting everything from a gaggle of geese to Whistler’s Mother, they’re shown Verizon’s network map, revealing an unambiguous rendering of the lower forty-eight, thus receiving a much needed “reality check.”

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This Isn’t A Game: The Serious Side Of Running Contests And Sweepstakes

shutterstock_106991831

By: Brian J. Meli

You’re looking to build some hype around a new product rollout, establish a social presence for your company, or provide some pop to your third quarter sales. Whatever your reason, you need to get consumers quickly engaged with your brand, and you’ve decided a promotional game is the best way to accomplish that. Not a bad decision given how effective contests, sweepstakes and games of chance can be at generating consumer interest. And with social media providing the perfect platform for rolling out these tactics, they’ve never been easier to administer. The unfortunate corollary to that fact, however, is that it’s also never been easier to get your company into a world of trouble (and by trouble, I’m talking about the criminal kind) for what may seem like a perfectly innocuous sweepstake. The hard truth is that due to gambling laws that vary considerably from state to state, the difference between a well-executed promotional effort that sparks consumer interest, and an illegal lottery that puts the Attorney General’s office on notice, can be very small indeed. How small? Read on.

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Getting Literal With Puffery

In keeping with the theme of previous before/after advertising exposés, these comparison shots between fast-food offerings and their dressed-up alter egos demonstrate that even celebrity sandwiches need lots of work before they’re ready for their close-ups.

http://www.businessinsider.com/fast-food-advertisements-vs-reality-2013-12

The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only. The information provided in this blog is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice, and your use of this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and The Law Firm of Brian J. Meli. Under the rules of certain jurisdictions, the material included in this blog may constitute attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Every case is different and the results obtained in your case may be different.

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Curing A Common Headache: Healthy Habits In Health And Wellness Advertising

Male Executive With Severe Headache - Isolated

By: Brian J. Meli

The healthcare industry is hands down the most regulated on the planet; and for many a good reason. As healthcare costs seem to be on an irrevocable ascent into the firmament, cracking down on anti-competitive behavior among healthcare providers is priority 1A of regulators. Last year, nearly half of all antitrust enforcement actions filed were against healthcare companies, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s annual report. But unfair competition is only part of the government’s oversight of the industry. Regulatory priority 1B, if you will, is protecting consumers from deceptive trade practices; a pursuit that extends well beyond the boundaries of the traditional healthcare sector.

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The Fascinating Art of Visual Deception In Advertising

Frustrated you don’t look like the Adonis-inspired models in those health ads? Fear not. You may be a lot closer than you think.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-dixon/weight-loss-secrets_b_3643898.html#!

The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only. The information provided in this blog is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice, and your use of this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and The Law Firm of Brian J. Meli. Under the rules of certain jurisdictions, the material included in this blog may constitute attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Every case is different and the results obtained in your case may be different.

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FTC Issues Warning To Search Engines: We’re Watching You

By: Brian J. Meli

On June 24th the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection sent several dozen strongly-worded letters to Internet search engines. Those letters served as a warning: clearly and prominently distinguish paid advertising from natural results or you may find yourselves in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive trade practices. The rationale the FTC gave was equally straightforward: since the agency’s original guidance letters were distributed to search engines back in 2002, there has been a noticeable decline in the level of voluntary compliance.

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