Navigate the media industry with
our experienced legal counsel &
valuable risk assessment

Navigate the media industry with our experienced legal counsel & valuable risk assessment

Our Specialties

Our law firm specializes in advertising & media law. Not tax law. Not wills and trusts. Not personal injury. Like our clients, we understand that media is its own universe that deserves our complete attention. As a result, our personal commitment and timely responsiveness are two of our greatest core assets.

We spend our day evaluating advertising campaigns and marketing content for broadcast, online, mobile, print, radio, out-of-home, point-of-sale and event-based executions. Our focus is on the details, including claims substantiation, proper disclaimers, and intellectual property issues.

WE PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS

In addition to ad agencies, we advise advertisers and their legal teams about the full array of issues relevant to their campaigns. We are comfortable in a purely behind-the-scenes role directly assisting in-house counsel or interacting with a company’s employees. We’re always happy to discuss a potential issue with new and existing clients, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.

SILICON BEACH IS OUR BACKYARD

We are minutes away from the media and tech convergence taking place in Santa Monica, Venice, Playa Vista, El Segundo and Manhattan Beach. But it’s not just a physical presence; we understand and are part of the culture that thrives on innovation and disruption.

MEET OUR EXPERT ATTORNEYS 

Our Services

Your job is to create great advertising and marketing. Our job is to identify, assess, and explain any potential legal risks connected to the campaign. While every advertisement is unique, the review process is not; it requires expertise, skill, and perspective.

We can help make sense of the legal risks you face:

Our Services

Your job is to create great advertising and marketing. Our job is to identify, assess, and explain any potential legal risks connected to the campaign. While every advertisement is unique, the review process is not; it requires expertise, skill, and perspective.

We can help make sense of the legal risks you face:

Our Services

Your job is to create great advertising and marketing. Our job is to identify, assess, and explain any potential legal risks connected to the campaign. While every advertisement is unique, the review process is not; it requires expertise, skill, and perspective.

We can help make sense of the legal risks you face:

From the ad agency “war room” to the advertiser’s boardroom, the driving force behind almost every advertising campaign is a set of compelling product claims. These claims may be boldly asserted or subtly suggested. They may be highlighted in clearly informative copy, or softly delivered in sentimental music from the listener’s past. But regardless of the style, format, or venue, the object of advertising remains constant: to convince the viewer or listener to buy the product.

In creating effective messaging to accomplish this result, the need to assure legal compliance of all advertising claims may seem counterintuitive. After all, how can statutes, rules, and regulations possibly reflect the creative sensibilities and marketing needs of the responsible advertiser and its advertising agency? But the fact is that the legal structure underlying the advertising business is generally well-intended, being designed to protect the unwary customer and restrain the unscrupulous marketer.

The challenge is that, between these two extremes, there are advertising scenarios in which the proper legal approach is not always so clear. How thorough must the honest marketer be in disclosing shortcomings about its product? What kind of dramatic license may be taken in showing how a product works? Must every statement in a commercial be literally true? While every advertisement is unique, the approach to reviewing marketing materials for legal compliance is not. This is the heart and soul of our practice, and we would be privileged to explore how we might be of assistance in reviewing your campaigns.

The Federal Trade Commission exercises jurisdiction over “deceptive” advertising claims. A deceptive claim is a “misrepresentation, omission, or other practice that misleads the consumer acting reasonably in the circumstances, to the consumer’s detriment.” All advertising claims—both express and implied—must be truthful and substantiated, and the substantiation must exist before the claim is made in advertising. Much of the time spent in the legal review of advertising focuses on these issues.

Substantiation is evaluated using a “reasonable basis” test, and the level of substantiation that will suffice to establish a reasonable basis is determined based upon the following factors: (i) the type of product; (ii) the type of claim; (iii) the benefits of a truthful claim; (iv) the cost of developing substantiation for the claim; (v) the consequences of a false claim; and (vi) the amount of substantiation that experts in the field believe is reasonable. Viewing these factors as a type of sliding scale, it is easy to see that certain claims, e.g., how smoothly a pen writes, will generally require a lower level of substantiation than others, such as health claims, where the consequences of falsity could be grave for the consumer.

Indeed, in the area of health, the FTC’s current standard for substantiation is: “competent and reliable scientific evidence,” meaning: “tests, analyses, research, studies, or other evidence based on the expertise of professionals in the relevant area, that have been conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by persons qualified to do so, using procedures generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results.” Designing a legally compliant campaign requires a thorough understanding of the FTC’s requirements, the advertiser’s desired claims, and the substantiation available to support those claims.

The advertising industry established the National Advertising Review Council (“NARC”) in 1971 as an alliance between the Council of Better Business Bureaus (“CBBB”), the American Advertising Federation (“AAF”), the American Association of Advertising Agencies (“AAAA”), and the Association of National Advertisers (“ANA”). NARC, now known as the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (“ASRC”), continues to set the policies and procedures for advertising industry self-regulation in the United States by way of its five entities: (i) the National Advertising Division, (ii) the Children’s Advertising Review Unit, (iii) the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program, (iv) the National Advertising Review Board, and (v) the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program. In addition to the ASRC, certain industries have their own self-imposed guidelines regarding advertising, such as the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.  We assist and represent advertisers in submitting and responding to competitor complaints in most of these forums.

Advertisers love sweepstakes and contests as they can generate tremendous brand interest for relatively modest costs. Unfortunately, they are governed by extensive state and federal law. The official rules are essentially a contract between the sponsor and the entrants, and they can save the sponsor’s bacon if problems erupt. Without a set of solid rules in place, bad things can happen to even the smallest promotion.

We love to draft rules for a variety of promotions.  We’re good, we’re fast, so let us know how we may be of help.

The terms of use (also known as terms of service) is another essential document for websites and Apps.  It is basically a contract that describes the company’s and consumer’s rights when using the website or App.  Through the terms of use document, the user may be legally bound to contract provisions that are highly protective of the marketer’s interests.

Protect yourself.  Protect your company.  A proper terms of use document is essential for all online commercial entities.

The relationship between an advertising agency and its client is unique in the business world.  Passion, creativity, goals, and success are shared with equal fervor by both parties.

The agency service agreement is an essential element of a strong and productive business relationship. A comprehensive, well-negotiated agreement puts the agency in a good place to excel with its creative efforts and the advertiser in a good place to succeed with its product.  It is the business side of the ad business, and we feel that the agreement’s importance cannot be underestimated.

When it comes to drafting an agreement that protects its clients, a law firm needs to have been around the block a few times.  We have the worn shoes to prove it.

Using a celebrity can provide many benefits for a campaign or promotion, including social media postings to their followers. To ensure that the celebrity and the advertiser are on the same page, a comprehensive spokesperson/talent agreement is essential.  This protects both parties and sets the expectations and the ground rules.

Some standard elements to consider are:

  • Scope of services
  • Union jurisdiction
  • Compensation structure
  • Approval rights
  • Term
  • Exclusivity
  • Social media performance minimums & training

Intellectual property disputes are on the rise as many companies and individuals are stepping up enforcement of their intellectual property rights.  To help avoid an infringement challenge, our services include:

  1. Reviewing campaign themes, executions, headlines, and graphics/art to provide a preliminary campaign risk assessment;
  2. Conducting preliminary headline/tagline searches via the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and online common law searches in both the U.S. and Canada. We also have a relationship with a Canadian law firm (and other law firms around the globe) when international expertise is needed.
  3. We also contact third party rights holders directly to secure permission to license their intellectual property. In some cases, the process may be as simple as exchanging emails; other executions may require more formal agreements and licensing fees.  Every clearance matter takes on its own life and requirements.

Securing music rights generally involves several players; the copyright holders of the composition (aka Publishing Rights), and the copyright holders of the master recording (aka Sync Rights).  Music rights can be complicated as various rights holders are involved.  Just ask us, we know.

Applying for a trademark for a brand name, product, service, or tagline is an important endeavor for many of our clients.  We work closely with an intellectual property law firm that is Of Counsel to facilitate trademark registration.  These specialized services include: placing and analyzing Thomson® trademark searches, filing and monitoring trademark applications with the USPTO, and renewing registrations.

The Direct Response industry thrives on new ideas, products, and services to bring to the marketplace.  For DR marketers, a comprehensive License Agreement with the rights holder is absolutely crucial.  And for the inventor, reasonable approval rights and fair compensation for the value of the licensed product is a necessary part of the equation. 

At a minimum, the License Agreement should address the following:

  • Definition of the Product Line
  • Territory 
  • Exclusivity
  • Term
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Compensation & royalty rates
  • Roll out & payment dates
  • Default remedies
  • Termination and reversion of rights

From the ad agency “war room” to the advertiser’s boardroom, the driving force behind almost every advertising campaign is a set of compelling product claims. These claims may be boldly asserted or subtly suggested. They may be highlighted in clearly informative copy, or softly delivered in sentimental music from the listener’s past. But regardless of the style, format, or venue, the object of advertising remains constant: to convince the viewer or listener to buy the product.

In creating effective messaging to accomplish this result, the need to assure legal compliance of all advertising claims may seem counterintuitive. After all, how can statutes, rules, and regulations possibly reflect the creative sensibilities and marketing needs of the responsible advertiser and its advertising agency? But the fact is that the legal structure underlying the advertising business is generally well-intended, being designed to protect the unwary customer and restrain the unscrupulous marketer.

The challenge is that, between these two extremes, there are advertising scenarios in which the proper legal approach is not always so clear. How thorough must the honest marketer be in disclosing shortcomings about its product? What kind of dramatic license may be taken in showing how a product works? Must every statement in a commercial be literally true? While every advertisement is unique, the approach to reviewing marketing materials for legal compliance is not. This is the heart and soul of our practice, and we would be privileged to explore how we might be of assistance in reviewing your campaigns.

The Federal Trade Commission exercises jurisdiction over “deceptive” advertising claims. A deceptive claim is a “misrepresentation, omission, or other practice that misleads the consumer acting reasonably in the circumstances, to the consumer’s detriment.” All advertising claims—both express and implied—must be truthful and substantiated, and the substantiation must exist before the claim is made in advertising. Much of the time spent in the legal review of advertising focuses on these issues.

Substantiation is evaluated using a “reasonable basis” test, and the level of substantiation that will suffice to establish a reasonable basis is determined based upon the following factors: (i) the type of product; (ii) the type of claim; (iii) the benefits of a truthful claim; (iv) the cost of developing substantiation for the claim; (v) the consequences of a false claim; and (vi) the amount of substantiation that experts in the field believe is reasonable. Viewing these factors as a type of sliding scale, it is easy to see that certain claims, e.g., how smoothly a pen writes, will generally require a lower level of substantiation than others, such as health claims, where the consequences of falsity could be grave for the consumer.

Indeed, in the area of health, the FTC’s current standard for substantiation is: “competent and reliable scientific evidence,” meaning: “tests, analyses, research, studies, or other evidence based on the expertise of professionals in the relevant area, that have been conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by persons qualified to do so, using procedures generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results.” Designing a legally compliant campaign requires a thorough understanding of the FTC’s requirements, the advertiser’s desired claims, and the substantiation available to support those claims.

The advertising industry established the National Advertising Review Council (“NARC”) in 1971 as an alliance between the Council of Better Business Bureaus (“CBBB”), the American Advertising Federation (“AAF”), the American Association of Advertising Agencies (“AAAA”), and the Association of National Advertisers (“ANA”). NARC, now known as the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (“ASRC”), continues to set the policies and procedures for advertising industry self-regulation in the United States by way of its five entities: (i) the National Advertising Division, (ii) the Children’s Advertising Review Unit, (iii) the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program, (iv) the National Advertising Review Board, and (v) the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program. In addition to the ASRC, certain industries have their own self-imposed guidelines regarding advertising, such as the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.  We assist and represent advertisers in submitting and responding to competitor complaints in most of these forums.

Advertisers love sweepstakes and contests as they can generate tremendous brand interest for relatively modest costs. Unfortunately, they are governed by extensive state and federal law. The official rules are essentially a contract between the sponsor and the entrants, and they can save the sponsor’s bacon if problems erupt. Without a set of solid rules in place, bad things can happen to even the smallest promotion.

We love to draft rules for a variety of promotions.  We’re good, we’re fast, so let us know how we may be of help.

The terms of use (also known as terms of service) is another essential document for websites and Apps.  It is basically a contract that describes the company’s and consumer’s rights when using the website or App.  Through the terms of use document, the user may be legally bound to contract provisions that are highly protective of the marketer’s interests.

Protect yourself.  Protect your company.  A proper terms of use document is essential for all online commercial entities.

The relationship between an advertising agency and its client is unique in the business world.  Passion, creativity, goals, and success are shared with equal fervor by both parties.

The agency service agreement is an essential element of a strong and productive business relationship. A comprehensive, well-negotiated agreement puts the agency in a good place to excel with its creative efforts and the advertiser in a good place to succeed with its product.  It is the business side of the ad business, and we feel that the agreement’s importance cannot be underestimated.

When it comes to drafting an agreement that protects its clients, a law firm needs to have been around the block a few times.  We have the worn shoes to prove it.

Using a celebrity can provide many benefits for a campaign or promotion, including social media postings to their followers. To ensure that the celebrity and the advertiser are on the same page, a comprehensive spokesperson/talent agreement is essential.  This protects both parties and sets the expectations and the ground rules.

Some standard elements to consider are:

  • Scope of services
  • Union jurisdiction
  • Compensation structure
  • Approval rights
  • Term
  • Exclusivity
  • Social media performance minimums & training

Intellectual property disputes are on the rise as many companies and individuals are stepping up enforcement of their intellectual property rights.  To help avoid an infringement challenge, our services include:

  1. Reviewing campaign themes, executions, headlines, and graphics/art to provide a preliminary campaign risk assessment;
  2. Conducting preliminary headline/tagline searches via the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and online common law searches in both the U.S. and Canada. We also have a relationship with a Canadian law firm (and other law firms around the globe) when international expertise is needed.
  3. We also contact third party rights holders directly to secure permission to license their intellectual property. In some cases, the process may be as simple as exchanging emails; other executions may require more formal agreements and licensing fees.  Every clearance matter takes on its own life and requirements.

Securing music rights generally involves several players; the copyright holders of the composition (aka Publishing Rights), and the copyright holders of the master recording (aka Sync Rights).  Music rights can be complicated as various rights holders are involved.  Just ask us, we know.

Applying for a trademark for a brand name, product, service, or tagline is an important endeavor for many of our clients.  We work closely with an intellectual property law firm that is Of Counsel to facilitate trademark registration.  These specialized services include: placing and analyzing Thomson® trademark searches, filing and monitoring trademark applications with the USPTO, and renewing registrations.

The Direct Response industry thrives on new ideas, products, and services to bring to the marketplace.  For DR marketers, a comprehensive License Agreement with the rights holder is absolutely crucial.  And for the inventor, reasonable approval rights and fair compensation for the value of the licensed product is a necessary part of the equation. 

At a minimum, the License Agreement should address the following:

  • Definition of the Product Line
  • Territory 
  • Exclusivity
  • Term
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Compensation & royalty rates
  • Roll out & payment dates
  • Default remedies
  • Termination and reversion of rights

From the ad agency “war room” to the advertiser’s boardroom, the driving force behind almost every advertising campaign is a set of compelling product claims. These claims may be boldly asserted or subtly suggested. They may be highlighted in clearly informative copy, or softly delivered in sentimental music from the listener’s past. But regardless of the style, format, or venue, the object of advertising remains constant: to convince the viewer or listener to buy the product.

In creating effective messaging to accomplish this result, the need to assure legal compliance of all advertising claims may seem counterintuitive. After all, how can statutes, rules, and regulations possibly reflect the creative sensibilities and marketing needs of the responsible advertiser and its advertising agency? But the fact is that the legal structure underlying the advertising business is generally well-intended, being designed to protect the unwary customer and restrain the unscrupulous marketer.

The challenge is that, between these two extremes, there are advertising scenarios in which the proper legal approach is not always so clear. How thorough must the honest marketer be in disclosing shortcomings about its product? What kind of dramatic license may be taken in showing how a product works? Must every statement in a commercial be literally true? While every advertisement is unique, the approach to reviewing marketing materials for legal compliance is not. This is the heart and soul of our practice, and we would be privileged to explore how we might be of assistance in reviewing your campaigns.

The Federal Trade Commission exercises jurisdiction over “deceptive” advertising claims. A deceptive claim is a “misrepresentation, omission, or other practice that misleads the consumer acting reasonably in the circumstances, to the consumer’s detriment.” All advertising claims—both express and implied—must be truthful and substantiated, and the substantiation must exist before the claim is made in advertising. Much of the time spent in the legal review of advertising focuses on these issues.

Substantiation is evaluated using a “reasonable basis” test, and the level of substantiation that will suffice to establish a reasonable basis is determined based upon the following factors: (i) the type of product; (ii) the type of claim; (iii) the benefits of a truthful claim; (iv) the cost of developing substantiation for the claim; (v) the consequences of a false claim; and (vi) the amount of substantiation that experts in the field believe is reasonable. Viewing these factors as a type of sliding scale, it is easy to see that certain claims, e.g., how smoothly a pen writes, will generally require a lower level of substantiation than others, such as health claims, where the consequences of falsity could be grave for the consumer.

Indeed, in the area of health, the FTC’s current standard for substantiation is: “competent and reliable scientific evidence,” meaning: “tests, analyses, research, studies, or other evidence based on the expertise of professionals in the relevant area, that have been conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by persons qualified to do so, using procedures generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results.” Designing a legally compliant campaign requires a thorough understanding of the FTC’s requirements, the advertiser’s desired claims, and the substantiation available to support those claims.

The advertising industry established the National Advertising Review Council (“NARC”) in 1971 as an alliance between the Council of Better Business Bureaus (“CBBB”), the American Advertising Federation (“AAF”), the American Association of Advertising Agencies (“AAAA”), and the Association of National Advertisers (“ANA”). NARC, now known as the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (“ASRC”), continues to set the policies and procedures for advertising industry self-regulation in the United States by way of its five entities: (i) the National Advertising Division, (ii) the Children’s Advertising Review Unit, (iii) the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program, (iv) the National Advertising Review Board, and (v) the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program. In addition to the ASRC, certain industries have their own self-imposed guidelines regarding advertising, such as the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.  We assist and represent advertisers in submitting and responding to competitor complaints in most of these forums.

Advertisers love sweepstakes and contests as they can generate tremendous brand interest for relatively modest costs. Unfortunately, they are governed by extensive state and federal law. The official rules are essentially a contract between the sponsor and the entrants, and they can save the sponsor’s bacon if problems erupt. Without a set of solid rules in place, bad things can happen to even the smallest promotion.

We love to draft rules for a variety of promotions.  We’re good, we’re fast, so let us know how we may be of help.

The terms of use (also known as terms of service) is another essential document for websites and Apps.  It is basically a contract that describes the company’s and consumer’s rights when using the website or App.  Through the terms of use document, the user may be legally bound to contract provisions that are highly protective of the marketer’s interests.

Protect yourself.  Protect your company.  A proper terms of use document is essential for all online commercial entities.

The relationship between an advertising agency and its client is unique in the business world.  Passion, creativity, goals, and success are shared with equal fervor by both parties.

The agency service agreement is an essential element of a strong and productive business relationship. A comprehensive, well-negotiated agreement puts the agency in a good place to excel with its creative efforts and the advertiser in a good place to succeed with its product.  It is the business side of the ad business, and we feel that the agreement’s importance cannot be underestimated.

When it comes to drafting an agreement that protects its clients, a law firm needs to have been around the block a few times.  We have the worn shoes to prove it.

Using a celebrity can provide many benefits for a campaign or promotion, including social media postings to their followers. To ensure that the celebrity and the advertiser are on the same page, a comprehensive spokesperson/talent agreement is essential.  This protects both parties and sets the expectations and the ground rules.

Some standard elements to consider are:

  • Scope of services
  • Union jurisdiction
  • Compensation structure
  • Approval rights
  • Term
  • Exclusivity
  • Social media performance minimums & training

Intellectual property disputes are on the rise as many companies and individuals are stepping up enforcement of their intellectual property rights.  To help avoid an infringement challenge, our services include:

  1. Reviewing campaign themes, executions, headlines, and graphics/art to provide a preliminary campaign risk assessment;
  2. Conducting preliminary headline/tagline searches via the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and online common law searches in both the U.S. and Canada. We also have a relationship with a Canadian law firm (and other law firms around the globe) when international expertise is needed.
  3. We also contact third party rights holders directly to secure permission to license their intellectual property. In some cases, the process may be as simple as exchanging emails; other executions may require more formal agreements and licensing fees.  Every clearance matter takes on its own life and requirements.

Securing music rights generally involves several players; the copyright holders of the composition (aka Publishing Rights), and the copyright holders of the master recording (aka Sync Rights).  Music rights can be complicated as various rights holders are involved.  Just ask us, we know.

Applying for a trademark for a brand name, product, service, or tagline is an important endeavor for many of our clients.  We work closely with an intellectual property law firm that is Of Counsel to facilitate trademark registration.  These specialized services include: placing and analyzing Thomson® trademark searches, filing and monitoring trademark applications with the USPTO, and renewing registrations.

The Direct Response industry thrives on new ideas, products, and services to bring to the marketplace.  For DR marketers, a comprehensive License Agreement with the rights holder is absolutely crucial.  And for the inventor, reasonable approval rights and fair compensation for the value of the licensed product is a necessary part of the equation. 

At a minimum, the License Agreement should address the following:

  • Definition of the Product Line
  • Territory 
  • Exclusivity
  • Term
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Compensation & royalty rates
  • Roll out & payment dates
  • Default remedies
  • Termination and reversion of rights

Our Reputation

We are known for our experienced legal counsel. Your ability to prepare for the legal risks in any marketing effort will be as strong as our knowledge and attention to detail. We don’t disappoint.

Our Reputation

We are known for our experienced legal counsel. Your ability to prepare for the legal risks in any marketing effort will be as strong as our knowledge and attention to detail. We don’t disappoint.

AD-INFINITUM:

Legal Checklists for the
Advertising Industry

As a way to give back to our loyal clients and friends (and, in all honesty, because we love what we do), we wrote a book entitled AD-INFINITUM: Legal Checklists for the Advertising Agency. It’s available in both print and digital formats via Amazon.com. Our clients know that the advertising business is a fascinating combination of creativity, content creation, data analysis, media strategy, and business acumen.

We wrote this book to help you better understand the legal side of modern advertising and hopefully avoid issues that can affect any campaign, no matter the size. It’s written in an accessible style for industry professionals, in-house counsel, and law firm personnel, providing quick summaries for a variety industry-related topics. Plus, it’s perfectly sized to fit in your backpack or brief case without resulting in a trip to the chiropractor!

BUY ON AMAZON

READ OUR PUBLICATIONS 

Law Pay Processing System

As a courtesy to our clients, our Firm offers online payments through LawPay. LawPay is a secure payment system that is compliant with all card brand security standards, ensuring protection of your personal information.

Make a payment

Law Pay Processing System

As a courtesy to our clients, our Firm offers online payments through LawPay. LawPay is a secure payment system that is compliant with all card brand security standards, ensuring protection of your personal information.

Make a payment

MANHATTAN BEACH OFFICE

1240 Rosecrans Ave., No. 120
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Telephone: (310) 343-7200
Fax: (213) 212-4749

Contact

John Hendrickson: jhendrickson@admedialaw.com
Christina Loza: cloza@admedialaw.com
Gary Kohn: gkohn@admedialaw.com
Holly Bayne: hbayne@admedialaw.com

MANHATTAN BEACH OFFICE

1240 Rosecrans Ave., No. 120
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Telephone: (310) 343-7200
Fax: (213) 212-4749

Contact

John Hendrickson: jhendrickson@admedialaw.com
Christina Loza: cloza@admedialaw.com
Gary Kohn: gkohn@admedialaw.com
Holly Bayne: hbayne@admedialaw.com