ANA Offers New Legal Guide to Help Marketers Address Coronavirus Crisis

Detailed, Comprehensive Guide Prepared by Reed Smith, ANA’s General Counsel and Strategic Law Partner

NEW YORK (April 2, 2020) — The ANA today introduced a new comprehensive legal guide that counsels marketers on how to address a wide range of legal challenges posed by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on brands.

The guide, “The Impact of COVID-19 on Brand Advertising and Marketing,” was prepared at the request of the ANA by the association’s general counsel and strategic law partner, Reed Smith.

“The impact of the coronavirus crisis has had an immediate and, in all likelihood, lasting impact on the marketing and advertising industries,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “Questions regarding legal issues are among our members’ key concerns at this time, and this wide-ranging, all-inclusive guide provides many of the answers they are looking for.”

Liodice stressed that the guide was not intended to provide formal legal advice; he urged all marketers to consult with their own legal counsel before embarking on any actions in response to the crisis.

The 31-page guide includes 15 separate chapters, each addressing a different aspect of marketers’ contractual arrangements and legal risks with partners, vendors, and regulators. The chapters, written by an assortment of Reed Smith attorneys who specialize in the individual areas, offer background, guidance, and recommendations on possible options for operational changes due to the coronavirus crisis.

“There is currently a deluge of legal advice and opinion addressing the many hardships COVID-19 has foisted on the economy,” said Reed Smith Partner Doug Wood. “It’s all well-intentioned as everyone tries to contribute during this crisis. But there has not been a resource specifically focused on the unique challenges brands face as they search for ways to stay in front of customers in a productive, responsible, and responsive manner. With this guide, the ANA is filling that void.”

Wood noted that many of the issues facing brands will be contractual in nature and marketers will need to review their contracts to determine what, if any, rights and remedies they have. Brands may want to terminate contracts, delay performance under a contract, obtain makegoods, or otherwise modify a contract, he said. Typical contract provisions to consider are termination, makegood policies, and provisions addressing modification or rescheduling of services.

TOPICS COVERED

Chapter topics include:

  • Contractual Issues
  • Sponsorship and Events
  • Endorsements
  • Commercial Production
  • Promotions
  • Agency Contracts
  • Media Buys
  • Digital
  • Anti-Gouging Laws
  • Advertising Content

Additional chapters cover public relations and crisis management, regulatory enforcement and litigation based on product advertising, addressing the counterfeit good problem, insurance, and data privacy and security.

A copy of the guide is attached.

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ABOUT THE ANA
The ANA (Association of National Advertisers)’s mission is to drive growth for marketing professionals, for brands and businesses, and for the industry. Growth is foundational for all participants in the ecosystem. The ANA seeks to align those interests by leveraging the 12-point ANA Growth Agenda, which has been endorsed and embraced by the ANA Board of Directors and the Global CMO Growth Council. The ANA’s membership consists of more than 1,600 domestic and international companies, including over 1,000 client-side marketers and nonprofit fundraisers and 600 marketing solutions providers (data science and technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, suppliers, and vendors). Collectively, ANA member companies represent 20,000 brands, engage 50,000 industry professionals, and invest more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually.

ABOUT REED SMITH
Reed Smith is a global law firm dedicated to providing quality business solutions, not just legal answers. Its belief is that by doing things differently, with a greater focus on innovation, and by delivering smarter and more creative and efficient legal services, the firm will not only enrich its clients’ experiences with the firm, but also support the clients in achieving their own business goals. With long-standing relationships, an international outlook, and collaborative structure, Reed Smith is a strategic partner in the resolution of complex disputes, transactions, and regulatory matters. For further information, please email Douglas J. Wood (dwood@reedsmith.com) or Keri Bruce (kbruce@reedsmith.com), partners with Reed Smith.

MEDIA CONTACT:
John Wolfe
ANA
Director of Communications
Office: 212.455.8011
Cell: 914.659.8663
Email: jwolfe@ana.net