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ACI Focus: User Generated Content and Social Networking

From the American Conference Institute web site:

ACI’s Focus on User Generated Content will take a detailed look at the statutory framework and how the courts are applying it in recent cases. From a series of intensive discussions on online contests and their implications, you'll get all the tools you need to ensure that the practices you invite your consumers to engage in will maximize profits rather than culminate in legal turmoil.

Agenda Highlight

8:45 AM - User Generated Content, Social Networking, and Blogging—What You Need to Know in 2008 Before Inviting the General Public & Your Own Employees to Post on Your Sites

Tammy Brandt, Managing Counsel, Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc.
James Taylor, Partner, Loeb & Loeb LLP

The notion of user generated content didn’t just happen overnight. With the help of platforms such as blogs and social networking, many companies that want to invite consumers to make up their own ads have become quite successful in launching user generated ads to a widespread audience. In order to ensure that a user generated promotion is launched properly it is necessary to have a full understanding of how social networking sites and blogs work, their responsibility to the content providers, and how to use them to maximize the promotion’s potential. This session will provide a comprehensive framework for the conference, which will delve into great detail about the interplay between all of these platforms shown through specific case studies, and highlight the latest legal and regulatory developments.

  • Making user generated content or “fictitious” content work for the company in compliance with regulatory guidelines and law
    • using a social networking site as a medium for posting—are fictitious postings considered “ads”?
      determining which claims, if any, must be substantiated and ensuring that all claims comply with necessary standards
    • avoiding the element of consumer confusion—clarifying the views are that of the company
      making clear and conspicuous disclosures
    • how these practices may be regulated by review of the FTC Endorsement Guide revisions
  • Special considerations for setting up product review sites and inviting users to post comments
    • implementing controls to avoid disparaging comments
  • Grappling with competing concerns among the need to monitor and the allure of real-time commenting
  • Conveying the message that blogging is not afforded the same statutory protection as user generated content and social networking
  • Determining the level of corporate responsibility for false statements made online