Advertising and Marketing


Advertising and Marketing

Contact Information
Christie Grymes Thompson, Practice Chair
Phone: (202) 342-8633
Fax: (202) 342-8451

Our Advertising and Marketing practice is highly respected in the field, ranked by U.S. News/Best Lawyers in Tier 1 - National for Advertising Law. Chambers USA 2016 ranks Kelley Drye in the National Advertising Litigation and Transactional & Regulatory categories, recognizing the firm's prominent billing in the advertising sector with impressive coast-to-coast coverage. Chambers heard from one client, "They have a robust practice. They are one of the stellar firms in this space."  In addition, US Legal 500 recognizes this practice, which they observe is “particularly well regarded for its regulatory prowess, with core strength in FTC matters and proceedings before NAD and NARB.” Our attorneys are frequently given individual accolades. For example, five of the last six years Best Lawyers named a Kelley Drye attorney the Washington, D.C. Advertising “Lawyer of the Year.”

We serve an extensive client base, which includes wireless carriers, telecommunication companies, media companies, Internet service providers, consultants, major retailers and direct marketers, as well as manufacturers of computers, dietary supplements, fast food, engine oils, paint, home appliances, sporting goods and other consumer products.

This group has particular experience and capabilities in:

  • Advertising and marketing counseling services that emphasize risk analysis and responsiveness. We regularly review advertising and promotional materials for legal compliance, including the review of television, radio, print, Internet, merchandising, financial offers and product packaging for truth in advertising, claim substantiation, the proper use of intellectual property rights, and compliance with state and federal consumer protection rules. Based on our findings, we work with clients to modify claims as necessary to mitigate risk and ensure their goals are accomplished in a manner that complies with applicable laws.

  • Investigations and litigation brought by the Federal Trade Commission and state Attorneys General. This team comprises several attorneys who have worked at various levels at the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and has unparalleled experience representing businesses that are investigated by federal and state government agencies for false or deceptive advertising, or illegal sales or marketing practices. No matter the scope of the action, we guide clients through this process swiftly and negotiate favorable agreements with federal agencies, individual states and multi-state groups.

  • Consumer class action defense of unfair and deceptive trade practice allegations. From our home base in D.C. and litigation strongholds in New York and Los Angeles, this team actively defends consumer class action cases throughout the country. The firm has defeated class certification in a number of recent client cases and has negotiated favorable settlements in many others. We have defended clients against class actions involving cancellation fulfillment policies, pricing practices, call monitoring practices, promotional rebate policies, e-mail marketing campaigns, and a range of other issues.

  • Advertising Transactions. As advertising campaigns grow more complex, they often require multiple parties to work together towards a common goal. Our team has extensive experience in helping clients draft and negotiate the agreements that underlie these campaigns. Whether you need an agreement with your advertising agency, a celebrity endorser, a sports team, an app developer, or any other entity that is helping you promote your brand, our team has the experience to help. Additionally, as advertising continues to embrace individual engagements and targeted online activations, our team seamlessly addresses the data-driven privacy and data security elements in these agreements.

  • Multi-level and direct sales marketing. We regularly work with multi-level marketing and direct sales companies by helping them and their distributors achieve their business goals in compliance with applicable consumer protection laws. In this area of increased regulatory scrutiny from the FTC and state AGs, we offer unparalleled experience in evaluating and implementing meaningful compliance measures and advocating before regulators. We are adept at helping clients develop and oversee compliance measures related to sales methods, compensation structures, and claims practices to minimize the risk of regulatory scrutiny consistent with business objectives.

  • Lanham Act false advertising litigation, on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. With one of the nation’s largest and most effective advertising litigation practices, we have brought or defended a range of false or comparative advertising cases in recent years under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, which prohibits false or misleading claims in national advertising.

  • National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus and television network challenges. We help clients take advantage of the NAD’s resolution process to tackle advertising disputes with more speed and efficiency than traditional litigation typically offers. At the NAD and before the networks, we have been successful in both forcing competitors to modify or discontinue challenged advertisements and demonstrating that our clients’ advertising claims are substantiated.

  • Counseling on privacy and information security compliance. We counsel clients on privacy and data security laws governing the collection, use and protection of personal information, and on managing risks and reducing exposure to investigations and litigation arising from how companies handle personal data.

  • Structuring and running promotions. Our team advises a range of clients and their affiliate brands as they run promotions, including sweepstakes, contests, charitable campaigns, gift cards and loyalty programs. We also draft and negotiate promotion, endorsement and sponsorship agreements. From the moment an idea for a promotion is conceived, we work closely with our clients to ensure that their goals are accomplished in a manner that complies with applicable laws and offers as much protection as possible.

  • New media marketing. As clients leverage new media, messaging and social networking technologies to understand and engage their target audiences, our attorneys provide the legal framework within which to develop strategies integrating traditional and new media platforms. We counsel on virtually every dimension of media marketing efforts: from creating terms of use and privacy policies, to developing guidelines for blogs, to dealing with legal requirements of viral marketing.

Kelley Drye takes specific steps to understand the unique goals and challenges of our clients' businesses.  For example, the firm's junior attorneys spend time in clients' offices, working directly with marketers and in-house attorneys. This experience enables these associates to develop a practical business context to match their substantive legal skills - a combination that delivers dividends to clients and that reinforces the practice group's business - and client-focused philosophy.

Current Leadership Positions

  • August T. Horvath, Chair, Agriculture and Food Committee, ABA Antitrust Section

  • Alysa Z. Hutnik, Council Member, ABA Antitrust Section

  • William C. MacLeod, Chair, ABA Antitrust Section

  • Gonzalo E. Mon, Editorial Board Member, ABA Consumer Protection Law Developments – Update

  • Sarah Roller, Member, Institute of Medicine Food Forum

  • Lewis Rose, Editorial Board Member, Journal of Internet Law; Author, CCH’s Advertising Law Guide treatise

  • Dana B. Rosenfeld, Chair, Privacy and Information Security Committee, ABA Antitrust Section

  • Christie Grymes Thompson, Co-Chair, Committee Operations Committee, ABA Antitrust Section

  • John E. Villafranco, Chair, Advertising Disputes and Litigation Committee, ABA Antitrust Section; Member, Long Range Planning Committee, ABA Antitrust Section

Former Leadership Positions

  • August T. Horvath, Vice Chair, ABA Advisory Board on Section Reserves, 2014; Council Member, ABA Antitrust Section, 2013; Chair, ABA Antitrust Section, Consumer Protection Committee, 2009; Co-Editor-in-Chief, ABA Consumer Protection Law Developments; Editor-in-Chief, ABA Consumer Protection Manual

  • Alysa Z. Hutnik, Co-Chair, ABA Antitrust Section, Committee Operations Committee. 2014; Chair, ABA Antitrust Section, Privacy & Information Security Committee; Editor-in-Chief, ABA The Secure Times newsletter; Editor-in-Chief, Data Security Handbook; Co-Chair, ABA Antitrust Section Consumer Protection Conference, 2011; Vice-Chair, ABA Antitrust Section, Privacy & Information Security Committee, 2006 – 2008

  • William C. MacLeod, Vice Chair, ABA Antitrust Section, 2014-2015; ABA Antitrust Section Program Officer, 2014; Section Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, 2013; Director, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection; Regional Director, FTC; Attorney Advisor, FTC; Chair, ABA Antitrust Section Spring Meeting, 2010; Consumer Protection Officer, ABA, 2011 – 2012

  • Sarah Roller, At Large Member, Institute of Food Technology Food Laws and Regulations Section Executive Committee, 2008-2011; Food and Drug Law Institute Food and Drug Law Journal Editorial Advisory Board Member, 2002-2007, and Chair, 2006-2007

  • Lewis Rose, Assistant Director, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection; Attorney Advisor, FTC

  • Dana B. Rosenfeld, Assistant Director, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection; Attorney Advisor, FTC Chairman Robert Pitofsky; Associate Editor, ABA ANTITRUST magazine, 2014; Vice-Chair, ABA Antitrust Section, Private Advertising Litigation Committee, 2009 – 2012

  • Christie Grymes Thompson, Vice Chair, ABA Antitrust Section, Membership and Diversity Committee, 2014-2015; Member, ABA Antitrust Section, Nominating Committee, 2014; Chair, ABA Antitrust Section, Consumer Protection Committee, 2011 – 2013; Vice Chair, ABA Antitrust Section, Long Range Planning Committee, 2011 – 2012

  • John E. Villafranco, Chair, Private Advertising Litigation Committee, 2014; Member, ABA Antitrust Section, Presidential Transition Report Task Force, 2013; Member, ABA Antitrust Section, International Task Force, 2012; Chair, ABA Antitrust Section, Consumer Protection Committee, 2006 – 2008; Co-Editor-in-Chief, ABA Consumer Protection Law Developments; Co-Chair, ABA Antitrust Section Spring Meeting, 2011; Chair, ABA Antitrust Section Consumer Protection Conference, 2007, 2009

Related Attorneys

Jodie Z. Bernstein Katie Bond Lee S. Brenner S. Spencer Elg Jennifer Fried August T. Horvath Alysa Zeltzer Hutnik Jeffrey S. Jacobson Ilunga L. Kalala Christopher M. Loeffler William C. MacLeod Donnelly L. McDowell Gonzalo E. Mon Elisa A. Nemiroff Katherine N. Rogers Sarah Roller Lewis Rose Dana B. Rosenfeld Sharon Kim Schiavetti Crystal N. Skelton Christie Grymes Thompson Katherine Riley Townley John E. Villafranco Devon E. Winkles Kristi L. Wolff

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