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Latest Steve Thomas Texas Lawyer Commentary: As Internet Disrupts Advertising/Marketing, Traditional Laws Still Apply

The latest Texas Lawyer commentary by McGuire, Craddock & Strother’s Steve Thomas outlines the disruptive effects that Internet video bloggers are having on the retail advertising and marketing landscape, and warns that traditional laws still apply in this new marketing and advertising world.

Thomas describes the unlikely influence of so-called “unboxers” and “haulers” – YouTube and social media personalities who cultivate millions of subscribers and page views by simply documenting their shopping sprees or opening their products in front of a streaming video camera. With viewership like that, manufacturers are reducing traditional advertising budgets and paying to get their products in front of these influencers.

Writes Thomas:

Vloggers are part of a remarkable shift toward online marketing. According to the 2015 Marketing Fact Pack published by Advertising Age, the average amount of time U.S. adults spent per day using digital media overtook time spent watching TV in 2013. Also, the Internet’s share of ad spending in 2014 surpassed print media’s share – newspapers plus magazines – in the U.S. and the world.

“Endorsement” might seem like a strong word to describe a video of someone too young to drink – or in some cases, to vote – squealing with glee as she rocks a new ten-dollar shirt or fist pumping after he kills the aliens with a new game accessory. But whether vlogger, blogger, podcaster, or mere social-media butterfly, if they receive compensation of any kind for touting a product, endorses they are.

Thomas notes that while these new mediums may seem far from what we think of as advertising and marketing, manufacturers and retailers should know that the same rules that govern advertising in traditional media apply to online content, as well.

Read the entire commentary here.