Monthly Archives May 2014

New distance selling regulations take effect on 13 June 2014

shopping onlineAll customer contracts for the supply of goods and services need to be reviewed as a matter of urgency as on the 13 June the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 comes into force.

These new Regulations replace the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling Regulations) 2000 and the Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumers Home or Place of Work Regulations 2008 (known as the Doorstep Selling Regulations).

The new Regulations implement the EU Consumer Rights Directive that brings together a number of disparate existing rules. Currently, European rules on consumer rights are contained in four separate EU directives covering unfair contracts, distance selling, doorstep selling and sales and guarantees, respectively.

As discussed in my latest book, Essential Law for Marketers, the problem with t...

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CIPR revamps disciplinary procedures to strengthen confidence in the PR industry

max-cliffordMembers of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) have watched in horror as high profile showbiz publicist Max Clifford was charged and is now serving a lengthy custodial sentence for a string of highly serious sexual offences against vulnerable young people.

Clifford never applied for membership of the CIPR in his entire career and if he had when I was the CIPR Chairman of Membership, I would’ve rejected his application.

The full extent of Clifford’s deception wasn’t known to many of us who in fact had previous dealings with him but I was aware of how he conducted his business and the way he manipulated clients and the media in order to make himself extraordinarily wealthy and at the same time with scant regard for rights of others...

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The Mod(i) Father

Narendra ModiIndian voters are pinning their hopes on their new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, leader of the Hindu nationalist BJP, to make good on his promises – a factor that eventually forced the Congress Party to lose its grip on power and suffer crushing defeat at the hands of its rival.

Former India PM Manmohan Singh claims that the legacy of his presidency is a far stronger Indian economy compared to that when he took office a decade earlier.

But the octogenarian became susceptible to a string of corruption scandals within his own party as well as political paralysis where he was seen as being too aloof to stop.

Modi will be sensitive and mindful of the short-comings of his predecessor and is already openly talking of a ten-year economic plan for the country...

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The word of the Lord is the copyright of the person who writes it down

jesus

In a landmark ruling, a German court has ruled Jesus Christ doesn’t hold copyright for works published in his name.

Frankfurt’s higher regional court held that the late American psychologist Helen Schucman, and not Jesus Christ, should be regarded the legal author of a book that Schucman claimed had been dictated to her by Jesus in a series of “waking dreams”.

Germany’s New Christian Endeavour Academy, a registered association, last year published extracts from A Course in Miracles, originally published in 1975, on its website. The association argued that Schucman had not considered herself the author of the work, and referred to a 2003 ruling by a New York court that it said had put the work into the public domain.

“For many there is no doubt that Jesus of Nazareth is t...

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X-rated legal action makes US history books

x-art-580In 2006, Colette Pelissier was selling houses in Southern California, and her boyfriend, Brigham Field, was working as a photographer of nude models.

Colette Pelissier wanted to leave the real-estate business, so she convinced her boyfriend to start making adult films. “I had this idea, when the real-estate market was cooling—you know, maybe we could make beautiful erotic movies,” she said.

By 2009 they had launched X-art.com and had started shooting adult films in places like Madrid and Prague as Malibu Media. The website promised its customers erotica featuring “gorgeous fashion models from the USA, Europe, South America and Beyond.” For $40 a month, subscribers had unlimited access to a growing collection of short films...

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Peace breaks out between Apple and Google

Google and Apple agmt

Apple and Google have just announced they are calling a cease fire on all patent litigation. According to Bloomberg, the two companies have filed an incredible 20 lawsuits against each other in the US and Europe.

In a joint statement, Apple and Google have agreed to dismiss all the current lawsuits that exist directly between the two companies and “…have also agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform. The agreement does not include a cross licence.”

The latter part of the statement means that both sides are holding onto their intellectual property (IP) rights and not cross-licensing these to the other side. So the potential for further litigation remains a real possibility in the future.

Google inherited a lot of patent litigation actions when it purchased Motorola Mobility t...

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Ambush marketing threat to global sponsors!

Pepsi unofficialDuring major sports events, non-official sponsor brand owners will start to consider actively pursuing ‘guerrilla or ‘ambush marketing’ tactics as they seek a free ride on the back of major events such as the Commonwealth Games in GlasgowFIFA World Cup in Brazil, the Tour de France or the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

But like so much in marketing, they’re two schools of thought on the subject of ‘ambush marketing’.

Pro-ambush

Those who are in favour of ‘ambush marketing’ including the European Sponsorship Association (ESA) argue it’s a perfectly acceptable form of marketing activity for a non-sponsor to be engaged with provided it doesn’t break any ethical Codes of Conduct that may be in place to regulate sales, marketing and communication activities in its...

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What is the business of public relations today?

QuestionThis may appear to be an obvious, even a trite question. But in fact it turns out to be incredibly important for all of us that claim to work in the business of public relations today.

When I was speaking at the World Communication Forum in Davos earlier this year, I got to know Paul Holmes and I felt that he was one person in our industry that wasn’t afraid to express his opinion or even ask difficult questions of agency heads that appear to have answers to any question about the industry at their fingertips.

My view, for what it’s worth, is that we are in the reputation business. I refer to the ability of building, strengthening, transmitting and defending reputation with all audiences, 24/7.

I’ve written extensively about reputation on this website as well as many of my other posts on F...

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It’s not what you do, but why you do it that counts

Bafta main doorYesterday I had a wonderful lunch at my club Bafta in Piccadilly with a great friend of mine, Lena Robinson.

Lena is one of the most gifted business development professionals I’ve ever worked with when we were together at WPP and she now runs an incredible business development powerhouse for agency entrepreneurs called KiwiGirl.

Check it out!  Lena is an inspiration of ideas and new ways of thinking. And yesterday she shared something very special that I wanted to share with you too.

But before I share this with you, let me take you briefly into the conversation we started with over sausages, crab bites, burger and chips and a very nice bottle of wine!

We talked about Guru in a Bottle® and what inspired me to write a series of books on sales, marketing and law...

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European Court of Justice landmark ruling on privacy puts Google in a spin

Google-buildingGoogle and other search engine providers like AOL, Yahoo! and Microsoft Internet Explorer have been dealt a major blow after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Google must delete links to personal information about individuals from search results on request.

The ECJ ruling is likely to open the floodgates to a wave of similar requests from users wanting to remove potentially embarrassing or harmful information about them from Google search results after it enshrined the “right of erasure” (previously known as the ‘right to be forgotten’) in European law.

The ruling doesn’t mean that information will be removed from the internet but removing it from search results will vastly reduce the chance of it being seen as the vast majority of people access the internet via a search eng...

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