Mobile Advertising & Marketing – Myths & Miffs

Thanks to the Digital Marketing Committee of the Association of National Advertisers for having me attend and give a presentation on mobile advertising and marketing yesterday. A copy of the presentation is available for your reading enjoyment right here: “Mobile Marketing or I Know Where You Will Be Next Summer & Other Mobile Marketing Myths.” (PDF)

Do Not Track – Diving Deeper Into the Quicksand

Coming on the heels of a bill aimed at preventing children from being tracked, introduced by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) (see, Rep. Markey Releases a Kids Do Not Track Discussion Draft Bill): Today, Jay D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Chair of the Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee in the U.S. Senate, introduced a Do Not Track Online bill that would empower the FTC to promulgate rules “that establish standards for the implementation of a mechanism by which an individual can simply and easily indicate whether the individual prefers to have personal information collected by providers of online services, including by providers of mobile applications and services . . . ”

A copy of the proposed legislation is available here for you to download and read Do Not Track Online Act of 2011 – Proposed Rockefeller Bill (PDF). Of course, if you need legal guidance, advice or representation as these bills are introduced and make their way through the legislative process, don’t hesitate to call us. We are here to help.

The Tip of the Iceberg – ‘Do Not Track’ Kids Bill Proposed

After several months of anticipation, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) released his Kids “Do Not Track” discussion draft bill. At face value, this bill appears to have a narrow focus of online behavioral activities toward children, which we normally define under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) as any individual younger than 13. However, such is not the case. This bill would amend COPPA to expand some marketing provisions to teens under age 18, and may, in effect, require better age screens, given teen savvy (and their propensity to lie about their age).

If enacted, this bill has the potential to create complications when marketing to the crucial college age and young adult market as more sophisticated age screens will require all to enter information that they might not want to share online.

To read the entire Rimon Alert and find out more, just check out Rep. Markey Releases a Kids Do Not Track Discussion Draft Bill.

Advertisements going Mobile – something new or just the matrix reloaded?

Wow! I thought I was cool playing “Going Mobile” by The Who (from their album – remember albums? – Who’s Next, released in the United States August 14, 1971) to introduce my presentation about the legal implications of mobile advertising and mobile marketing (see Advertising on the Go – Mobile Marketing or Mobile Mayhem).

But I tip my hat to you Legal Bytes readers. You are on the ball. After blogging about the presentation, a friend and avid Legal Bytes reader reminded me of an article I wrote in 2005, published in the New York Law Journal Magazine, entitled “Transformed“, in which I stated: “No longer tied to desks or offices located in centers of commerce and society, we carry our electronic tool boxes with us wherever we go. We have pagers, cell phones and wireless PDAs with names like Treo™ and the BlackBerry® . . . whose addictive qualities . . . (make us refer to them) as ‘crack’ berries! We carry them with us into restaurants, Broadway shows, buses and even bathrooms.”

Wow, déjà vu all over again (with respect to Yogi Berra). Can you make it through the day without your BlackBerry or your Smartphone (we didn’t call them that in 2005)? What’s the first device you look at in the morning? What about before going to bed? Now I can even access Legal Bytes with a scan using my mobile. Wow!!

I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from George Santayana, Spanish American philosopher (perhaps most remembered for his remark, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”). My personal favorite quote of his is, “We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will be the past; and we must respect the past, remembering that once it was all that was humanly possible.” (The Philosophy of George Santayana, Northwestern University Press, 1940, p. 560). Oh, and if you actually like The Who, you can listen to Going Mobile:

 

https://youtube.com/watch?v=tQ5pi3UR5dY

 

Indeed. Déjà vu all over again!

Advertising on the Go – Mobile Marketing or Mobile Mayhem

February 9, 2011—one day before the Association of National Advertisers held its TV & Everything Video Forum—Joseph I. (“Joe”) Rosenbaum had the privilege of presenting a pre-conference legal educational seminar at the New York offices of Rimon. Joe’s presentation, in PDF format, is available for your personal viewing right here: “Mobile Advertising, or I Know Where You Will Be Next Summer & Other Mobile Marketing Myths”.

You won’t be able to see the embedded videos – if you want to see those or any other presentations Joe and the Advertising Technology & Media practice has presented over the years, or if you want to arrange a customized presentation on any or all things ATM-related, contact Joe at joseph.rosenbaum@rimonlaw.com.

When Pressing Suits, Judges Tell Jurors Neither Social Nor Media is OK

A few months ago, Legal Bytes reported some important developments and judicial rulings concerning social media and freedom of the press in the United States (see, Freedom of the Press = Freedom to Tweet). But lest you be lulled into a false sense of security, freedom of the press only applies to the ‘press’ and not to jurors.

You have all seen the motion picture and television courtroom scenes played out numerous times. Evidence is admitted or not admissible. The jury is admonished to disregard certain remarks or testimony as inadmissible or irrelevant. Jurors are told they must reach a verdict on only the evidence that is allowable during the trial – nothing else. Now decades ago, a jury was told not to watch accounts of a case on television, or to listen to such on the radio, or to read newspaper articles about the case. Juries could be sequestered – squirreled away out of sight and, theoretically, out of harmful evidence’s way – until the verdict was rendered and justice done.

But today, with a mobile phone, PDA or any one of literally hundreds of devices – some no larger than a credit card – one can ‘tweet’ (www.Twitter.com), one can post to your or someone else’s wall (www.Facebook.com), one can upload photos (www.flickr.com) or videos (www.YouTube.com) or post to one’s own blog (www.LegalBytes.com). All from the convenience of the palm of your hand, purse or jacket pocket. One can also surf, search, ask and obtain answers across the web, almost instantaneously, with the press of a few buttons or the wave of one’s fingers across a touch screen. The interactive two-way communication and searches for independent information is at odds with our jury system that limits the juror’s knowledge base for decision-making purposes to what’s in her or his head when they walk in along with the evidence that is presented and deemed admissible by the court. Everything else is off limits – at least for administering justice. Although not the subject of this two-part blog posting, Legal Bytes has also covered the growing issue of whether a mindless application of disqualification criteria makes sense simply because you have a ‘friend’ or someone is ‘following’ you among the other thousands or millions of individuals on some social media platform (See, Florida Judges Can’t Have Friends).

But now back to our story. Just this past December, the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management issued its “Proposed Model Jury Instructions – The Use of Electronic Technology to Conduct Research on or Communicate about a Case”. I know this will surprise you, but the basic do’s and don’ts they proposed are:

  • Thou shalt not undertake any independent research, use any outside reference works, dictionaries, surf the web, or use any digital or other means to try and get information about the case or anything related to the case.
  • Thou shalt not communicate with anyone about the case – anyone – not even other jurors. No mobile phones, email, Blackberry, iPhone, SMS text messaging, tweets, blogging, chat rooms or social media platforms. None, nada, zilch, zero, null, never. Period.
  • Thou shalt decide the case solely on the admissible evidence presented in the courtroom.

Sound familiar? While many of us recognize there are sophisticated rules and regulations established to ensure evidence is presented in a fair manner, consistent with the system of justice – protecting the rights of the accused and the accuser, the plaintiff and the defendant – jurors often are curious – curious about questions that aren’t asked or answered during the course of a trial. In motion pictures or television, we get to go behind the scenes. We can often see what the jury cannot. But real juries may not appreciate, under the constraints of a particular case, why some information is simply not available to them, some questions not permissible, some witnesses never called and some answers never provided. It’s far too tempting to try and find out and with today’s digital technology – well, it’s not that hard to do so – sometimes even believing one can escape detection when doing so.

So stay tuned. In the next installment of this post, Legal Bytes will take you on a brief tour of some court decisions over the last few years, starting from simple emails and online surfing by jurors, to jurors who post blogs in the middle of jury deliberations, to tweets before, during and after multimillion dollar civil trials. Yes, we even have jurors communicating to each other on Facebook during a trial. You just can’t make this up.

While the next installment is pending, if you need to know more – how social media can help or hurt your company in litigation – remember that Rimon has teams of litigators who not only know digital (e-)discovery, forensic evidence, security and other technology applicable to legal proceedings, but also know social media – increasingly relevant, for good or bad, in dispute proceedings. Need us to press your suit and avoid being taken to the cleaners? Contact me, Joseph I. Rosenbaum or any Rimon attorney with whom you regularly work and stay tuned for Part II – Jurors Behave, or We’ll Throw the Facebook at You!

Freedom of the Press = Freedom to Tweet

Twitter keeps hitting the newswires—in this instance, in a matter involving freedom of the press. You might have heard from time to time, especially in high-profile or emotionally charged cases, about judges who have used their power to control proceedings by restricting the use of certain communications equipment and mechanisms from within their courtrooms (e.g., use of mobile phones, video recording equipment, etc.).

From Pennsylvania comes an order from a Dauphin County judge refusing to bar reporters from sending Tweets during the course of a public and high-profile trial. In response to a motion by the defendants counsel, Judge Lewis, in a brief order, noted that “. . . to impose the proposed restriction would be premature and that the restriction itself is overly broad.”

In this particular case, the defendants were concerned that reporters, using Twitter inside the courtroom, would broadcast witnesses testimony, which could then be read or seen by other witnesses who were yet to testify. While refusing to ban Twitter to reporters, the judge did order the witnesses to avoid reading or listening to reports concerning the trial.

As icing on the cake, our own Rimon lawyers, Tom McGough, Mark Tamburri and Tom Pohl, won the order on behalf of the Associated Press and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Yes, Virginia, there is a place for social media in jurisprudence.

If you remember, Twitter was also the subject of some controversy in Pittsburgh during the G20 Summit last year. In that case, involving freedom of speech, police in Pittsburgh arrested a man who was using Twitter to send messages about the movements of police officers as protests were unfolding. Although the police sought to charge the man with aiding an illegal protest, the man was broadcasting what was easily visible in plain sight.

While commercial cases often involve money or intellectual property rights, or rights of publicity or privacy, cases are emerging that involve fundamental Constitutional rights. The law will need to move quickly into the digital and social media age in order to keep up. Some courts and judges are doing just that!

Need to know more? Contact me, Joseph I. Rosenbaum, or any Rimon attorney with whom you regularly work.

Dazed & Confused, Not Shock and Awe

For 2009, here are my predictions:

The economy and strife, regulation and surveillance will dominate the agenda, with the burden of paying for everything from wars to bailouts right in the crosshairs: watch those advertising budgets boys and girls, the taxman cometh.

Privacy and advertising, long separated by passive print, television and radio, will continue to collide—Congress will either pass ineffective and inappropriate legislation because it’s too busy to pay attention, or will defer legislation another year because it’s too busy to pay attention.

Wireless and mobile technology will continue to make us say “wow” and will continue to miniaturize our lives, putting not just communication, but also our wallets, calendars, purchasing, entertainment and working tool kits in our hands, not our laps.

The use of wireless and additional licenses, spectrum and bandwidth will bring the FCC and the FTC colliding in their zeal to regulate, and they will either cooperate because they are too busy to fight or fight because they are too busy to cooperate. In either case, regulation, re-regulation and self-regulation will continue to increase, unregulated.

Marketing, promotions, new media, digital content and distribution platforms will transform gaming and interactive play into entertainment, education and information—giving us more choices, but continuing to blur the lines between advertising, entertainment and information.

Continue reading “Dazed & Confused, Not Shock and Awe”