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Digital Advertising

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From the meteoric rise of mobile marketing to the power of social media influencers, digital advertising is breaking down the barriers that once encumbered traditional advertising, and it is playing an increasingly important role in helping brands reach consumers.

Crowell & Moring’s Digital Advertising Practice helps clients manage the legal risks of advertising, distribution, and sale of their products that arise at the intersection of marketing and technology. We help clients navigate the regulatory, brand reputational risk, IP, and litigation concerns that arise in today’s fast-changing environment. We also help negotiate digital advertising deals that help clients maximize their campaigns and prevent fraud.

Our cross-disciplinary team includes leaders of the bar who have worked in all aspects of the digital advertising ecosystem. Our lawyers and policy professionals come from our offices across the United States, as well as in Europe, and they include former high-level government officials at the Federal Trade Commission and State Attorneys General, corporate lawyers from leading fashion houses, and nationally recognized litigators in advertising litigation and consumer protection. Working side-by-side with corporate counsel and marketing departments, our team advises on the full spectrum of business and legal challenges arising in the digital advertising arena.

Regulatory Counseling

As the digital advertising and consumer protection regulatory framework continue to co-evolve, we help clients avoid risks and create best practice strategies so they can leverage opportunities in real time. We provide counsel on issues including intellectual property rights regarding content creation, use and monetization, false and misleading advertising techniques, the unauthorized disclosure of private information, data breaches, disclosures, and other concerns.

Our team works closely with clients to navigate the application of traditional regulations to developing areas that are leveraging digital advertising, such as digital health, gig and shared economy, and artificial intelligence. We also help clients respond to increasing regulatory scrutiny on issues including influencers, native advertising, online subscription models, and other emerging tactics.

Litigation and Disputes

Our team of litigators offers decades of experience handling matters ranging from class-action litigation to high-profile government enforcement actions. Our Digital Advertising team includes lawyers from both our Litigation & Trial and Regulatory practices who work together to resolve business to business litigation, government enforcement actions and investigations, and class action litigation. Our team includes nationally-recognized practitioners, former government officials, and leading voices in legal and industry groups focused on digital advertising issues.

Our Digital Advertising Practice also includes members of Crowell & Moring's premier Privacy & Cybersecurity Group, which guides clients through the myriad federal, state, and international laws governing the collection, use, transfer, and protection of data. We provide practical counsel on privacy and cybersecurity issues, and we lead litigation and investigations for clients when problems arise.

Agreements and Fraud Protection

For brands, we create legal and business strategies that protect investments and make the most of marketing dollars. We negotiate and structure agreements and negotiate ad buys that maximize our clients’ marketing spend. And we help brands protect against fraud and ensure transparency with their advertising partners by keeping platforms accountable to identify clicks, impressions, and other programmatic ad measurements that determine advertising expenditures.

We also help major media owners, platform and app developers, content creators, and other industry players create innovative business and legal strategies for the developing landscape. 

Our Team

Our Digital & Advertising team has represented clients from industries across the spectrum, including automotive, hospitality, media and telecommunications, wireless, retail, fashion, food and beverage, home appliances, software, and financial services, as well as major sports leagues and teams, individual athletes, musicians, and entertainment professionals. We have also advised the world’s leading search engine, social media, and traditional media digital platforms. Our attorneys have deep experience in:

  • Advertising recovery and litigation
  • Anti-money laundering
  • Antitrust and competition analysis
  • Platform competition
  • Corporate and transactions (including contract negotiations)
  • False advertising
  • Fraud and abuse
  • Intellectual property and licensing
  • International trade
  • Internet and mobile regulation
  • Licensing and distribution agreements
  • Privacy and cybersecurity
  • Product liability
  • Regulatory compliance, state and federal

Our team regularly contributes to the advancement of digital advertising law, serving on the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Advertising Disputes and Litigation Committee, Consumer Protection Committee, and Media and Technology Committee. We have several recent former officials of the Federal Trade Commission on our team. We regularly speak and write on issues arising within the ad-funded internet, including native advertising, antitrust and sports law, bots, cryptocurrency pyramid schemes, keyword research tools, social media influencers and disclosure practices, advertising liability, and e-mail marketing.

Our Services

Our team works with clients to navigate the full range of regulatory, litigation, and transactional concerns facing digital advertising today, including:

  • AdTech negotiations and deals
  • Advertising fraud
  • Behavioral and native advertising counseling
  • Data privacy, security, analytics, and optimization
  • Digital ad fraud protection
  • Direct-to-consumer campaigns
  • Disclosures
  • Consumer financial regulations
  • Cryptocurrencies and digital payment systems
  • eCommerce
  • Media agency agreements
  • Net neutrality
  • Payment platforms and intermediaries
  • Sponsored content
  • Talent and spokesperson engagements
  • Traditional advertising and promotions
  • Vendor and outsourcing agreements
  • Venture development and affiliate networks

We help clients resolve business, consumer, and governmental disputes in proceedings before key federal and state regulatory and law-enforcement agencies and industry self-regulatory bodies, including the:

  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP)
  • National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB)
  • National Advertising Review Board (NARB)
  • State attorney general offices

We understand the importance of our clients’ brands and help them address circumstances—including poorly reviewed or unmonitored placement of ads on their websites—that might communicate support for opinions, groups, and activities that do not comply with their core values and missions.