IKEA ignores the lessons of Lego and The Ranger Station, sends C&D to a brand ambassador

Sad IKEA HackerWhen I worked for Mattel in the mid-1980s, I spent a fair amount of time with the trademark department, which wanted to make sure that, when I was using a possessive in a company publication, it read Barbie doll’s instead of Barbie’s. Barbie is a trademark and can’t be altered, even for correct punctuation.

These were busy folks. No violation of a Mattel trademark went unchallenged. There was that famous action taken against MCA Records over Aqua’s song, “Barbie Girl.” The company’s philosophy, our trademark lawyer told me, was that letting the smallest of transgressions go opened the door other trademark violations to pass legal… Read More »

Friday Wrap #106: New rules for paid Wikipedia editors and pharmas, Twitter GIFs, social sentiment

A gift-wrapped Second Life store
Second Life image courtesy of Torley
The Friday Wrap is a curated rundown of news, reports and posts from the past week that, while they didn’t go viral or attract much attention, are still interesting and useful for communications professionals. I select Wrap items from my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow.

News

Wikipedia tightens rules against undisclosed editing—In the wake of the multi-agency statement committing PR agencies to playing by Wikipedia’s rules, the online collaborative encyclopedia has changed its terms of use to require disclosure from anyone paid to edit articles. Wikimedia’s top communicator explained,… Read More »

Friday Wrap #102: Cameras at work, Facebook rules marketing, native ads okay with the public

Friday WrapThe Friday Wrap is a curated rundown of news, reports and posts from the past week that, while they didn’t go viral or attract much attention, are still interesting and useful for communications professionals. I select Wrap items from my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow.

News

NLRB ruling could end another common workplace policy—A U.S. National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge found Boeing violated labor law by videotaping union protests at its facilities two years ago while also prohibiting employees from using their own cameras at work unless they had a special permit. The two activities taken together… Read More »

GM’s bad words: This is what happens when leaders listen ONLY to their lawyers

Part of GM's presentation on banned wordsOn his new HBO show on Sunday, comedian John Oliver excoriated GM over its current recall crisis. CEO Mary Barra’s optimism that GM’s difficulties will result in a better, stronger company, Oliver said, must mean that the 13 people the company acknowledges were killed as a direct result of vehicle defects are actually a good thing.

Among the issues Oliver raised was a list of words employees were told to avoid using. The list, which were part of a 2008 presentation to employees on how to communicate with each other about safety issues, included deathtrap, widowmaker, and rolling sarcophagus. In all, there were 68 words and phrases… Read More »

Friday Wrap #101: Threat to net neutrality, Target gets transparent, wait for the weekend, and more

Friday Wrap
(c) Can Stock Photo
The Friday Wrap is a curated rundown of news, reports and posts from the past week that, while they didn’t go viral or attract much attention, are still interesting and useful for communications professionals. I select Wrap items from my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow.

News

FCC takes first step to ending net neutrality—The Wrap is usually reserved for items you may not have heard about anywhere else, but this one is too important to skip. The U.S. telecommunications regulator advanced a proposal on Thursday that would let Internet providers (like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T) charge content companies for… Read More »

The four core elements of your employee social media policy that may be illegal

Why you may need to trash your social media policyA study from Proskauer, a business-focused law firm, revealed that companies routinely take action against employees for their behavior in social media channels, even when it’s their own account used on their own devices on their own time.

While the infractions that led to the disciplinary action may have been consistent with the companies’ social media policies, they could be illegal. It’s time for companies to revisit their social media policies.

According to the Proskauer report, more than 70% of companies reported taking disciplinary measures over misuse of confidential information (80%), misrepresentation of the company’s views… Read More »

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