05/26/2010 07:28:00 AM EST
What Advertisers Need to Know About Running Contests and Advertising
Recently, both Facebook
and Twitter have enhanced their advertising and promotions guidelines. In this
Analysis, Ed Chansky, Alan Sutin, Kristen Fancher, Andy Moore and Tracie
Chesterman describe the primary features of Facebook's new rules regarding
contests and sweepstakes, as well as the key concerns for companies using
Facebook and Twitter for advertising purposes. They write:
B. Publicizing a Promotion Through Facebook
publicizing the existence of a sweepstakes, contest or other similar promotion
that is conducted at a completely different location, such as the advertiser's
own website, is generally permitted and does not require approval from
Facebook. Such advertising may occur via Facebook "wall posts," on the
sponsor's page, or via status updates on that page.
C. CAN-SPAM and General Considerations for Facebook Promotions
sponsor may be held responsible for not complying with the CAN-SPAM [Controlling
the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act, 15 USCS § 7701, et seq.] law as the sender of a forwarded
electronic message if the sponsor compensates the consumer (including giving
additional sweepstakes entries) to "refer-a-friend" or otherwise to forward a
commercial electronic message. The issue can get complicated on Facebook where
users have several different ways to share information. Some of those ways
merely involve posting information to the user's own "wall" or profile page,
which arguably should not be covered by CAN-SPAM.
methods involve sending messages to friends in a manner more akin to
traditional e-mail, which poses a greater risk of triggering the CAN-SPAM laws.
This is an emerging area where careful attention to the technology, as well as
legal advice, are important.
addition to its specific Promotions Guidelines, Facebook also has general
guidelines for advertising. Most of Facebook's Advertising Guidelines are based
on common sense, but also include requirements to abide by certain privacy and
other standards established by Facebook. Facebook's complete Advertising
Guidelines can be found at www.facebook.com/ad_guidelines.php.
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