Monthly commercial law update: Top 5 developments in February

Monthly commercial law update: Top 5 developments in February

Here’s this month’s top 5 commercial law developments taken from our February LexisPSL Commercial monthly round-up:

Advertising and marketing: IAB issues new rules on identifying digital advertising

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has issued a new guidance to provide greater transparency in ‘native’ digital advertising.

The guidelines provide advertisers, publishers, agencies and advertising technology companies with clear and practical steps to make it easier for consumers to spot native advertising—digital advertising formats designed to look and feel like editorial content.

Two of the key guidelines for native advertising formats are:

  1. provide consumers with prominently visible visual cues enabling them to immediately understand they are engaging with marketing content compiled by a third party in a native advertising format which is not editorially independent (eg brand logos or design, such as fonts or shading, clearly differentiating it from surrounding editorial content); and
  2. it must be labelled using wording that demonstrates a commercial arrangement is in place (eg ‘paid promotion’ or ‘brought to you by’).

The guidelines were based on a study specifically commissioned by the IAB to understand consumer knowledge, attitudes and tolerance to content and native advertising.

The IAB plans to publish Part 2 of the guidelines later in 2015, which will cover online advertorial and sponsored content, including how digital can learn from good practice in print media.

Bribery and corruption: employees sentenced for foreign bribery offences

Two former employees of Smith & Ouzman Ltd (SO) have been sentenced at Southwark Crown Court for foreign bribery offences.

SO is a printing company that specialises in security documents, such as ballot papers. A jury found that between 1 November 2006 and 31 December 2010, corrupt payments totalling £395,074 were made to public officials in Kenya and Mauritania in return for contracts. The chairman of SO was found guilty of corruptly agreeing to make payments contrary to section 1(1) of the Prevention

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