28 October 2009

Three lawyers walk into a blog about advertising...

It seems lawyers and the law kept popping up in my world this week. Yes, lawyers. Those people who water down our claims and tone down our prose.

Carla Michelotti and the CAF. Carla (pictured here) is the general counsel at Leo Burnett and an effective, tireless advocate for commercial speech. She's a key player in the AAAA, ABA, IAA and other industry groups. She is also one of the most ethical people in business today. For all this and more, the Chicago Advertising Federation yesterday gave her the Silver Medal Award for outstanding contribution to the industry. The event was a fitting tribute with speeches by industry leaders past and present. On a personal note, Carla also saved my Super Bowl spot from a legal technicality. Thank you, Carla, for saving our spot and giving many other people the means of saving theirs.

Trademarks and IMC. Regular readers know that we've been working on a multi-agency IMC project. As part of the process we make sure our selling language is accurate and ownable. One of the lawyers we work with observed that messages in one channel may have a slightly different legal interpretation in another so we should be careful to compare notes with our partners in other disciplines.

Argentina's new law governing media. As a former Argentine resident, I follow all news about my former home, especially when it concerns our industry. The current government passed a law restricting media ownership and airing of foreign-made advertising. Two Argentine journalists explained on AdAge.com this week how these aren't just legislative developments; they force advertisers to rethink media strategy.

The rule of law is important and in the United States we often take it for granted. Lawyers remind us what we have and how to use it.

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