TuneUp: Trademark Bullying, IP, and Common Sense Startup Issues with Guest Eve Brown

In our live TuneUp on March 16th at 12pm EST, Tin Shingle co-founder Katie Hellmuth Martin will be joined by special guest, attorney and professor Eve Brown of Bricolage Law, LLC

Eve will be talking to us about trademark bullying, common sense approaches to starting your business, and intellectual property (IP) issues you'll face in the course of growing your business.

Katie has all the juicy details for this can't-miss live training in the video below including:

FTC Tightens Guidelines on Bloggers, Tweeters to Encourage Transparency in Paid Endorsements

You may have read already that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has amended its guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials, last changed in 1980, to require bloggers to disclose a financial relationship they have with an advertiser or agency when publishing a review about a product or service.

When a Celebrity Buys from You, Respect Their Privacy

Most "celebrities" probably don't even want to be called "celebrities", so let's just call them people who are in movies, for the purposes of this blog post.

I started this topic in the Forum to gather thoughts on the subject, called "What to do when a celebrity buys your product". But then I realized that there really is only one thing to: ship them the product and go about your busy day.  A "friend" of mine (because I would never do something this thoughtless, of course) had an order from a person who is in movies.  She knew this because the famous person just put down their name in the shipping area, just like any person would do.  It was the person in the movie's attempt at being normal, and not having to set an alter ego in order to perform a normal and enjoyable function of life: online shopping.

My friend went straight to her blog, and told the world. She not only told the world, but she speculated if the purchase was a gift, and if so, who it was purchased for. Bad bad bad.  This was a violation of her own Privacy Policy on her very own website, and why would she treat a customer in this way? Customers are the very best, and should be treated like diamonds. They are the purest validation we have in our product or service.

So, if this happens to you, just know, that even if your friends are doing it, and leaking to everyone that so-and-so bought this, take your hands away from the keyboard, get a glass of water (not coffee, because who knows what you're capable of at that point), and think.  If you feel that this person's testimony would help your brand, then treat them as you would any other person who is not sought after by cameras, and politely ask them, or let them know how to go about submitting a review, if you have such a function on your website.  Otherwise, they are just a normal person, a wonderful customer who enjoys your product.

Sure, there are creative ways you could work together if they think they can help your brand, but approach these ways with care and respect. Otherwise, you may be served with an email from a disappointed customer, and a lawyer letter, warning you of your actions.

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