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Interactive Legal

April 9, 2009

Interactivity is great, especially when it is online. Who doesn’t want to help Hannah chose shampoo or digitally enslave some freaky chicken dude?

Interactivity is just a new way creating a buzz. It’s main goal is not to sell the product–that’s a byproduct. The main goal is to get people talking about it, and drum up some attention. And what’s more likely to drum up attention: something that engages you utilizing the latest tech or some picture in a magazine that smells funny or has a pretty person holding something you’re not sure if you want/even know what it is?

So, long story short: interactive advertising = good.

But, just as with all nifty new technostuff, interactivity comes with nifty new technoconcerns.

Well, maybe not new or nifty, but concerns nonetheless.

Interactivity means that somewhere, your personal data is being recorded and manipulated so that marketers know what the hell you are doing forcing their chicken to kill itself or have sex. You’re IP address is logged, no doubt, but that’s not substantial since that happens anytime you log on for anything. But now, you can be watched, tracked, and monitored.

I guess it sounds a lot scarier than it actually is, because, while companies are trying to find out all about you, its machines that are handling all the data, not humans. Although foreseeably, humans would be able to access such data if they were so inclined. And that is the issue: this opens the doors for some extreme privacy issues. What you post online is public, and the courts have continuously upheld this idea, but what you do online within the confines of your own home or within your own legal rights, who should be able to access and disseminate that information? Where is there a right to “privacy” and where is there not? Should facebook really know whether or not I’m coming to the site from myspace and then leaving it for some porn site? I’d rather they not.

Once you start involving people in your marketing plans (i.e. making things interactive), it brings into the picture many more laws and regulations that must be taken into account. Privacy is once of these concerns, but once things move into the interactive internet realm, warranties, intellectual property policies, liabilities, all more legal issues come into play. As an example, “waking up hannah” is intended for Canadian audiences only. I’m the the US and I can access it and use it just like anyone would be able to in Canada. There is also a disclaimer and a link to a privacy policy, which together probably explain that you have already waived most of the rights you have just by clicking play on the video. I’ve never seen a disclaimer on a magazine ad, or a privacy policy, or the contact info for a D(igital)M(illenium)C(opyright)A(ct) representative (required by law).

It would be interesting to note how Barbarian’s legal team might be different from the legal team of an ad agency that mostly focuses on, say, print material (although i wonder if the market for that has already become extinct?), and what sort of issues they face on a daily or per project basis.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dan permalink
    April 9, 2009 6:46 PM

    Bret, your second sentence really caught me. “Who doesn’t want to help Hannah chose shampoo or digitally enslave some freaky chicken dude?” Me, at least. I don’t see the appeal. I wouldn’t spend time doing those things. I’m not completely against interactive web sites. Not in the slightest. But what’s appealing about those two sites? I think some people appreciate them because they feel they’re supposed to. Then again, maybe that accomplishes the advertising goals.

  2. Brett permalink
    April 10, 2009 3:08 AM

    Sarcasm. That sentence is sarcasm. It’s okay.

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