3 23 10 Aitp Li Ezor Presentation On Social Media Risk


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23 March 2010 Presentation by Jonathan I. Ezor on Legal and Other Risks of Social Media, at AITP-Long Island Event

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3 23 10 Aitp Li Ezor Presentation On Social Media Risk

  1. 1. Legal Implications of Social Media Networks<br />Prof. Jonathan I. Ezor<br />jezor@tourolaw.edu<br />@ProfJonathan on Twitter<br />Touro Law Center<br />AITP-LI Panel<br />March 23, 2010<br />
  2. 2. E-mail, Blogs,Social Networking May Reveal More Than Desired<br />Many companies and individuals have blogs<br />Employees using Facebook, Twitter and other tools<br />Personal and professional line may blur<br />Texting and e-mails lack nuance, formality<br />Current and future employers, clients may read<br />Consequences can be embarrassing or worse<br />Cannot prevent, only prohibit (but don’t)<br />jezor@tourolaw.edu<br />
  3. 3. http://shankman.com/be-careful-what-you-post/<br />Many of my peers and I feel this is inappropriate. We do not know the total millions of dollars FedEx Corporation pays Ketchum annually for the valuable and important work your company does for us around the globe. We are confident however, it is enough to expect a greater level of respect and awareness from someone in your position as a vice president at a major global player in your industry. A hazard of social networking is people will read what you write.<br />
  4. 4. The visitor had recently learned that Tocquigny was wooing one of his company's competitors—by seeing a message that one of Tocquigny's employees had posted to Twitter. "It took me by surprise," says Tocquigny. "I realized that we needed to be more cautious about what we throw out there in to the universe." <br />
  5. 5. The first salvo from the Twittersphere was fairly mild: a tweet that admonished her to "take a breath." But when that tweet rolled down the giant screen behind her, a portion of the audience laughed. Boyd - who couldn't see the tweet or the audience -- got rattled by the laughter and started reading even faster. Increasingly snarky tweets followed, then tweets protesting the snark, and soon the audience was paying more attention to the "tweet-off" on the screen than to the stream of Boyd's ideas.<br />
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  7. 7. Apple's code of silence extends to 140-character messages on the microblogging site Twitter. During an in-person meeting with Apple representatives in February, Wall Street Journal Deputy Managing Editor Alan Murray posted a short message to Twitter that announced he was using the device. The tweet was later removed from the site.<br />
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  11. 11. Endorsements and Testimonials Guides<br /><ul><li>Review of Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (“Guides”) in November 2008
  12. 12. Changes Announced: October 5, 2009
  13. 13. Changes Effective: December 1, 2009</li></ul>11<br />jezor@tourolaw.edu<br />
  14. 14. FTC’s Revised Guides<br /><ul><li>The Guides are not law
  15. 15. Guides are the FTC’s interpretation of its false advertising laws
  16. 16. “Aid to complying with FTC Act”
  17. 17. FTC’s has the burden to prove that your advertising is actually false and deceptive
  18. 18. But, they reflect FTC’s intention, notice to the industry, and a position that is already being adopted by NAD</li></ul>12<br />jezor@tourolaw.edu<br />
  19. 19. Example of Blogger “Endorsement” from Guides<br />“A consumer who regularly purchases a particular brand of dog food decides one day to purchase a new, more expensive brand made by the same manufacturer. She writes in her personal blog that the change in diet has made her dog’s fur noticeably softer and shinier, and that in her opinion, the new food definitely is worth the extra money….<br />Assume now that the consumer joins a network marketing program under which she periodically receives various products about which she can write reviews if she wants to do so. If she receives a free bag of the new dog food through this program, her positive review would be considered an endorsement under the Guides.”<br />jezor@tourolaw.edu<br />
  20. 20. Key Points about Endorsements<br /><ul><li>Must reflect honest opinions/experience of endorser
  21. 21. May not have express/implied representation that would be deceptive if made by advertiser
  22. 22. Endorsement must accurately reflect endorser’s message
  23. 23. If endorser advertised to use the product, must have been bona fide user at time endorsement given, and ad can only run as long as endorser is user</li></ul>jezor@tourolaw.edu<br />
  24. 24. Liability for Endorser’s Statements<br /><ul><li>Advertiser as well as endorser liable for “false or unsubstantiated statements” in endorsements or failing to disclose material connections
  25. 25. Endorsers will be liable for positive claims made by endorser bloggers about the product
  26. 26. FTC suggests guidance and training of bloggers, monitoring paid bloggers to see/stop deceptive representations
  27. 27. Practice point: Google Alert, RSS feeds can aid in such monitoring</li></ul>jezor@tourolaw.edu<br />
  28. 28. Disclosing Material Connections Crucial to Proper Compliance<br />Not only issue of payment<br />Bloggers who receive free review units/copies must disclose that and advertisers must monitor to ensure disclosure<br />Advertiser staff participating in online discussion of products must disclose their affiliation<br />Also relevant for statements about competitors’ products<br />jezor@tourolaw.edu<br />
  29. 29. Social Media Raise Challenges for Marketers<br /><ul><li>FTC definition of “blogging” likely also cover Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter posts
  30. 30. Twitter particularly challenging given 140-character limitations on posts
  31. 31. Difficult to fit disclosure and endorsement into single tweet
  32. 32. Users may not know whether tweeter is professional or official marketer spokesperson</li></ul>jezor@tourolaw.edu<br />
  33. 33. 10-30-09 Letter from Mary K. Engle, Dir., FTC Div. of Advertising Practices to IAB<br /><ul><li>Responding to IAB’s public criticism of new Guides
  34. 34. Pointed out that Guides are not enforceable statutes but aid to complying with FTC Act
  35. 35. “Social media marketing is here to stay, and we have enough respect for advertising on the Internet and the important role of the blogosphere as a marketplace for public opinion to hold it to the same standard we apply to advertising in any other medium.”
  36. 36. “Are there instances where it can be hard to distinguish advertising from editorial content? Yes. But that's true whether you're talking about Twitter or traditional media....[W]here the message is advertising, online disseminators have an obligation to ensure it is not misleading, just as marketers using traditional media do.”</li></ul>jezor@tourolaw.edu<br />
  37. 37. Best Practices for Social Media In Business<br />Clear guidelines for endorsers posting to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. as well as blogs<br />Whenever possible, short posts should link to longer blog articles to enable clear disclaimer<br />Internal policies for social media use to manage who speaks “for” or “from” company<br />Use available monitoring tools to watch both endorsements and other references to advertiser<br />Assign central responsibility for managing social media presence/endorsements<br />jezor@tourolaw.edu<br />
  38. 38. Some Useful Social Network Monitoring Tools<br />Google’s Advanced Search & Alerts<br />Twitter’s Advanced Search<br />SocialPing<br />TwapperKeeper<br />HootSuite & CoTweet<br />Others at OneForty.com<br />
  39. 39. Questions?<br />Professor Jonathan I. EzorTel: 631-761-7119 e. jezor@tourolaw.edu<br />