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Media Law

A Practical Guide (Revised Edition)

Ashley Messenger

Media Law: A Practical Guide (Revised Edition) provides a clear and concise explanation of media law principles. It focuses on the practical aspects of how to protect oneself from claims and how to evaluate the likelihood of a successful claim. This new edition has been revised to reflect important changes and updates to the law, including recent developments relating to scandalous trademarks, embedding, fair use, drones, revenge porn laws, interpretation of emoji, GDPR, false statements laws, lies, and the libel implications of the #MeToo movement.

Media Law is divided into five sections that help non-lawyers understand how the principles apply to their actual behavior: background information about the legal system; things you can be sued for; how you actually gather information; ways the government can regulate speech; and practical issues that are related to media law. This book is perfect for courses in media and communications law or a combination course in journalism law and ethics, as it covers both the legal and ethical aspects of communication.

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17 Regulating Advertisements/Promotions/Marketing

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CHAPTER 17

Regulating Advertisements/Promotions/Marketing

Should advertisements receive First Amendment protection? People often complain about advertisements for many reasons: they encourage consumerism, they might be misleading, or they advertise “bad” products. On the other hand, advertisements help inform consumers about goods and services available in the market, and it is sometimes difficult to distinguish commercial speech from other kinds of protected speech, such as discussions of political or social issues. The Supreme Court has tried to balance these competing concerns in its decisions on what is known as “commercial speech.” This chapter will address the legal issues related to advertising, promotions, and marketing:

1. What legal issues should be considered by those advertising goods or services?

2. What legal issues arise for those who accept advertising?

3. What special rules apply when promotions include contests or prizes?

Issues to Consider for Advertising Goods and Services

There are four primary concerns for those who want to advertise products:

1. Considering whether there are any local, state, or federal laws or regulations that regulate the ad or medium

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