Marcella Ballard is co-chair of Venable's IP Litigation - Advertising, Brand, and Copyright Group. Marci is a seasoned first-chair Lanham Act and copyright litigator who represents clients before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), and in bench and jury trials. Marci also represents clients in arbitration hearings throughout the United States and in the United Kingdom. Several well-known global brands rely on her sophisticated litigation skills and sage counsel in global trademark matters and brand management functions. She also manages global IP portfolios, and counsels clients on brand protection, trademark, copyright, trade secret, privacy rights, licensing, unfair competition, contracts, and business tort claims.

Venable attorneys Marcella Ballard and Kristen Ruisi recently participated in an MIP Global Trademark Forum panel on Responsible Advertising, Social Media and Influencers. With Marci moderating and Kristen presenting, the panel also included Jessica E. Cardon, deputy general counsel at Quality King Distributors; Lydia Cheuk, deputy general counsel at Away; and Melissa Moriarty, assistant general counsel at VaynerMedia. During their discussion, panelists shared the following insights:

  1. Brands are relying more on influencers, leading to increased FTC scrutiny

Kristen spoke about how the FTC is becoming stricter in its enforcement of its guidelines, which strive to prevent influencers from making false claims about products or services they haven’t tried and ensure that consumers are aware of advertising relationships. While the responsibility to disclose relationships with the brand they are promoting or endorsing ultimately rests with the influencer, brands still have to work with influencers to ensure they are meeting their disclosure obligations.Continue Reading Panel Recap: Responsible Advertising, Social Media and Influencers