Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert ... - Davis & Gilbert LLP

Facebook Newsfeed, which can be seen by all of that person's “friends.” Recently, the Council of Better Business. Bureaus' National Advertising Division.
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DECEMBER 2011

ADVERTISING, MARKETING & PROMOTIONS

>> ALERT NAD CONSIDERS ‘LIKE-GATED’ CAMPAIGN FOR THE FIRST TIME Many companies rely on social media to promote their brands and products. Toward that end, these companies often use a variety of offers, including rebates and coupons, to solicit Facebook “likes.” One of the newer kinds of promotions

THE CHALLENGE

using Facebook is known as the

At the time of the Complaint, Coastal’s

THE BOTTOM LINE

“like-gated” promotion. This social

Facebook page stated: “Like This Page!

media advertising tool, which is a

While “like-gated” promotions are

… So you too can get your free pair

component in a growing number of

of glasses!” Although additional terms

companies’ advertising campaigns,

and conditions applied to the offer

requires that consumers “like” a

(e.g., additional fees for lens upgrades

properly so that “likes” are not

company’s Facebook page to gain

and shipping and handling, offer valid

access to a benefit, such as a deal,

obtained by misleading offers.

for only a specific time period and only

a coupon code, early access to

until a specific number of frames were

merchandise, or other savings.

given away), this information was not

Once a person “likes” a company’s

available to consumers until after

disclosed prior to a consumer

Facebook page, he or she is

they entered the promotion by “liking”

considered a “fan” of the company.

“liking” a company’s page, and the

Coastal’s page. After commencement

Content that a person “likes” appears

of the proceeding, Coastal voluntarily

on that person’s Facebook Wall and

modified its offer by including the fact

Facebook Newsfeed, which can be

that “*conditions apply” and by

that just because a promotion runs

seen by all of that person’s “friends.”

providing the additional terms and

on Facebook does not mean it

Recently, the Council of Better Business

conditions at the bottom of its

Bureaus’ National Advertising Division

Facebook page.

(NAD) considered – for the first time –

According to 1-800 Contacts, Coastal

a challenge to a “like-gated” campaign,

had fraudulently induced consumers to

when 1-800 Contacts, Inc. (1-800

“like” Coastal’s Facebook page in order

Contacts) challenged Coastal Contacts,

to obtain the “free” glasses, resulting in

Inc.’s (Coastal) “free” glasses promotion.

widespread social media marketing on

The NAD’s decision in this challenge

false pretenses. The challenger also

provides important guidelines for

argued that these “fraudulently obtained

companies considering “like-gated”

endorsements” had perpetuated the

promotions in the future. Attorney Advertising

currently a popular marketing tool, these promotions must be structured

As such, the material terms and conditions of the offer should be

consumer should actually receive the benefit offered. Keep in mind

is exempt from NAD scrutiny.

misleading suggestion that Coastal enjoyed broader support than it would have had in the absence of its misleading “free” promotion. For these reasons, 1-800 Contacts asserted that all fraudulently obtained “like” endorsements should be removed. >> continues on next page

DECEMBER 2011

ADVERTISING, MARKETI