Archives: Social media & advertising & PR

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Giant multinational Unilever drops suit against innovative start-up Hampton Creek over eggless “mayonnaise”

On October 31 of last year, Unilever filed a lawsuit against Hampton Creek, a start-up company that makes Just Mayo, an eggless spread that tastes like mayonnaise, only to drop the suit a month and a half later. Unilever claimed that Just Mayo was stealing market share from its Hellman’s and Best Foods mayonnaise products … Continue Reading

Mirror, mirror on your app…The cosmetics industry embraces digital

L’Oreal launched its Makeup Genius app earlier this year. It’s been lauded as one of the best attempts at enabling users to apply make-up virtually, through a smartphone or other device. This has prompted a number of market observers to ask whether the colour cosmetics industry is on the cusp of a digital revolution, and … Continue Reading

FTC has its eye on native advertising

Native ads, or advertisements that imitate the form and style of the content in which they are featured, are the hottest new trend in advertising.  This comes as no surprise to consumers: three-quarters of US publishers already offer some form of native ads, and another 17 percent say they are considering offering it within the … Continue Reading

Key terms for celebrity endorsement contracts

Celebrity endorsement is a well-established method of brand promotion and can significantly bolster a brand owner’s bottom line when successful (e.g. Michael Jordan’s signature shoe for Nike).  However, there are a range of commercial and legal issues which a brand owner must navigate when incorporating a celebrity into its brand’s image.  Of course determining which … Continue Reading

Consumer profiling: regulators re-affirm the importance of adopting a “privacy by design” approach

Marketers, data brokers and other businesses have been collecting information about consumers’ online preferences since the advent of e-commerce.   The growing use of large-scale information management and analytics technologies (also known as “big data”) has enabled organizations to combine ever larger and numerous datasets in their quest to extract meaning from the hoards of customer … Continue Reading

Recent trends in defamation cases over online reviews

Brand owners today face a constant challenge in monitoring their company’s online reputation and, where appropriate, responding to user comments and reviews.  Usually, negative online feedback can be addressed through standard customer relations.  Sometimes, though, a user review goes so far beyond the pale that the brand owner might consider suing the user, as well … Continue Reading

Data security breaches – protecting your brand from damage

Recent years have seen an increasing number of high profile data security breaches that have damaged the reputation of businesses and the value of their brands.  It’s sometimes said that it’s not a matter of “if”, but “when” a business will suffer a data security incident.  Nonetheless, there are a number of ways that you … Continue Reading

FTC says “Get FDA pre-approval first” to Cedarcide head lice advertisers

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced settlement with two marketers of bed bug and head lice products.  The settlement prohibits the use of allegedly deceptive advertising claims and requires Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) pre-approval for treatment claims about head lice.  While the settlement terms only apply to the two marketers of cedar … Continue Reading

Is this an advertisement? .com Disclosure Guidelines and celebrity endorsements on social media

Social networks like Facebook and Twitter attract millions of consumers daily.  These social networks offer advertisers innovative ways to target and reach consumers.  Increasingly, celebrities offer themselves as brand ambassadors for hire, and brands retain celebrities to market their products on social media.  Given the nature of the medium in which these types of endorsements … Continue Reading

Companies leverage YouTube for advertising that doesn’t look like advertising

Red Bull’s YouTube channel has 2.5 million subscribers.  Their video of Felix Baumgartner’s freefall to Earth from space, all while decked out in a Red Bull branded space suit, has 34 million views.  It’s not a fluke.  Red Bull’s other videos containing authentic content – read not obviously an ad – regularly pass the 10 … Continue Reading

Cease and desist letters to “superfans”: the tricky art of protecting a trademark while promoting a brand

Nutella—the delicious nutty chocolate spread made by Ferrero—has its fans, and then it has its superfans.  In the latter category is Sara Rosso, who hosts World Nutella Day every February 5 through a website, Facebook page, and Twitter account. But Rosso recently canceled the popular holiday after Ferrero sent her a cease and desist letter, which drew … Continue Reading

The Rise of E-Commerce in China: What Does it Mean for Premium Brands?

The CovBrands team in Beijing relies on e-commerce for day-to-day shopping.  With clothes, office supplies, electronics, and even groceries only a click away and often delivered the same day, we almost never need to set foot in a physical store.   And we are not alone.  In China, e-commerce is growing quickly, generating $190 billion in … Continue Reading

Social media employee policy

Companies are increasingly recognising the benefits of using social media to increase brand recognition and consumer loyalty, thereby boosting sales and profitability.  Many consumers follow brands online for news of product launches and special offers.  One way of maximising a brand’s social media presence is to involve employees.  In the Cosmetics industry, Estée Lauder implemented … Continue Reading

European Commission to crack down on e-commerce scams

The European Commission is to crack down on aggressive commercial practices which are discouraging consumers from shopping at online stores in other EU member states. The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (the Directive) introduced a standardized set of rules across the EU, including a general prohibition on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices.  Among the Directive’s provisions are … Continue Reading

China’s top 50 brands 2012

China’s top 50 brands On December 4, 2012, WPP published its third BrandZ Top 50 Chinese Brands annual report.  According to this report, Chinese companies value their brands and are investing in good branding more and more.  Here are some highlights from the Brandz report: The total value of the top 50 most valuable Chinese … Continue Reading