Category Archives: Contests

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Top 3 Takeaways for Media Companies from the D.C. Circuit’s TCPA Decision

Posted in Contests, Corporate/Business, Telephone Consumer Protection Act
The D.C. Circuit has now issued a long-awaited decision involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which has widespread implications for broadcasters and other media companies that rely on modern calling equipment (including text messaging) to reach their audiences. The decision resolves an appeal of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) 2015 Omnibus TCPA Order with… Continue Reading

FTC Sends (Another) Warning That Endorsers Must Disclose Connections to Products, Brands, or Services in Any Form of Media

Posted in Advertising Issues, Broadcast Regulation, Contests
When thinking about the regulations they must comply with, most broadcasters focus primarily, if not exclusively, upon the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). But there is at least one other federal agency that deserves attention, and that is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This is particularly true when endorsements, contests, and other marketing activities are in… Continue Reading

Modernized Contest Rule Now Effective

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Contests
With its publication in the Federal Register on February 12, 2016, the FCC’s modernized Contest Rule is now in effect. As we previously noted, the modernized Contest Rule gives radio and television stations the option to disclose material contest terms online, provided that they satisfy certain requirements. Specifically, stations choosing to disclose material contest terms online… Continue Reading

With the “Big Game” Approaching, Stations Should Be Careful About Use of Trademarks in Their Broadcasts and Promotions

Posted in Advertising Issues, Contests, Trademark
With the “Big Game” Approaching, Stations Should Be Careful About Use of Trademarks in Their Broadcasts and Promotions// When the National Football League (NFL) holds Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco on February 7, 2016, it will use Arabic numerals for the first time. Even without the characteristic Roman numerals, the term “Super Bowl” remains… Continue Reading

FCC Modernizes Contest Rules

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Contests
On September 17, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) unanimously approved a Report and Order (R&O) modernizing its Contest Rule.  As originally promulgated in 1976, the Contest Rule required broadcasters to periodically announce on-air the material terms of a licensee-conducted contest (material terms include how to enter, eligibility restrictions, entry deadline dates, prize… Continue Reading

10 Important Things to Keep in Mind When Running Broadcast Contests

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Contests
(1) The FCC’s contest rule applies to all “licensee-conducted” contests.  Sometimes you can easily conclude that a contest falls within this category; for example, if a station itself gives away concert tickets, the rule applies.  But what if a car dealer approaches a station with a proposal that station DJs promote the car dealer’s contest… Continue Reading

Third Month of the Year Craziness Contest! Be Careful to Avoid Trademark Issues when Conducting Contests

Posted in Advertising Issues, Contests, First Amendment, Trademark
As college basketball play-off season and the Super Bowl approach, we thought it a good time to remind broadcasters about the trademark issues that often crop up in contests this time of year.  Contests related to March Madness and the Super Bowl are popular, but the use of the proper names of these sporting events… Continue Reading

FCC Opens Rulemaking to Modernize Broadcast Contest Rules [updated]

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Contests
At the FCC’s November Open Meeting this morning, all four Commissioners and Chairman Wheeler voted to adopt an NPRM that will propose to bring the Commission’s disclosure requirements for licensee-conducted contests into the 21st Century.  The text of the NPRM was released shortly after the Meeting. As numerous Commissioners and the Chairman noted, the contest… Continue Reading

Think You Can Require Contest Entrants to “Like” Your Page? Not Anymore! Says Facebook

Posted in Advertising Issues, Contests
Facebook has announced a policy change that is likely to alter the manner in which many companies conduct contests and promotions using the social networking website.  Under existing Facebook policy, contests and other promotions frequently required entrants or those seeking to take advantage of a promotion to “like” a Facebook page before seeing certain content… Continue Reading

No More Fast Talkers and Small Print? O’Rielly Supports Updating Contest Rule to Allow for Internet Disclosures

Posted in Contests
In a June 16, 2014 blog post, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly voiced his support for updating the FCC’s Contest Rule, which currently requires broadcasters to periodically disclose a contest’s material terms on-air.  Noting the “super-fast” talkers rattling off contest terms on the radio, and the “small print” used for television disclosures, Commissioner O’Rielly stated that… Continue Reading

#Hashtag This – Disclosure Needed When Using Endorsements as a Method of Contest Entry

Posted in Advertising Issues, Contests
The Federal Trade Commission recently issued a closing letter to high-end shoe retailer Cole Haan that has implications for broadcasters conducting contests on social media platforms like Twitter and Pinterest.  The letter concerned a contest, called “WanderingSole,” that Cole Haan promoted on Pinterest.  The contest asked people to create Pinterest boards using images of Cole… Continue Reading

Conducting Contests Substantially As Advertised, Even When You Have to Change the Rules

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Contests
On March 20, 2014, the FCC fined two Indiana radio station licensees a total of $12,000 for failing to conduct a contest “substantially as announced.”  The contest at issue, the “Par 3 Shoot Out,” involved two stages – an online golf competition for which the station awarded weekly prizes consisting of Victoria National Golf Club… Continue Reading

Can Radio and Television Stations Run Ads for Online Gambling Operations? It Depends…

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Contests, First Amendment, Legislation
Today, advertisements for brick-and-mortar casinos provide significant revenue streams for broadcasters across the country.  Such was not always the case.  Just over a decade ago, the federal broadcast lottery statute – 18 U.S.C. §1304, as amended by 18 U.S.C. §1307 – prohibited the broadcast of casino-related advertisements by broadcasters located in a state that had… Continue Reading

Facebook Revises Contest Guidelines

Posted in Contests
Facebook recently revised its Promotions Guidelines to make it easier for broadcasters (and just about everyone else) to run contests on Facebook.  Perhaps the biggest change is that stations are no longer required to use an app to administer a contest (although they may continue to use apps and Page tabs if they wish).  Instead,… Continue Reading