Liz Howard was quoted in a recent article in the Daily Online Examiner regarding disclaimer rules for mobile ads. At issue is whether political ads that appear on mobile phones need to include disclaimer language indicating who paid for the ad and if it was authorized by a candidate. Such disclaimers are traditionally found in tv, print, and online advertisements. Ms. Howard told the Daily Online Examiner that if a disclaimer is not included in an ad, the Federal Elections Commission may fine the campaign up to $5,000, or the amount of money spent on the ad, whichever is greater.
However, in an Advisory Opinion Request to the FEC, SRYL client Revolution Messaging asked that mobile ads be exempt from disclaimer requirements due to ads’ small sizes on mobile phones. This would put them in a category similar to bumper stickers and lapel pins, rather than traditional paid media.
Sandler Reiff Young & Lamb attorney Liz Howard was quoted today in a Slate.com article regarding political text message spam. The article discusses the proliferation of these unwanted and unsolicited text messages, which cost recipients money in text message charges, in recent elections. Although the Telephone Consumer Protection Act prohibits sending unsolicited political text messages, some spammers believe they have found a loophole in the law.
In a recent Petition submitted to the FCC on behalf of Scott Goodstein’s firm, Revolution Messaging, Inc., Howard and Joe Sandler request the agency to clarify that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act prohibits all political text message spam, even text message spam sent using internet-to-phone SMS. “’You’re not allowed to use an auto-dialing device to call a cell phone without express consent,’ argues Elizabeth Howard, a lawyer with the Washington firm Sandler Reiff Young & Lamb who drafted Revolution’s petition.”
In addition to the article at Slate.com, the issue was also covered by the Los Angeles Times.