social media and endorsement policy
Gucci America, Inc. (“GUCCI”) is committed to transparency and honesty in all of its advertising messages and promotional communications with consumers. Therefore, GUCCI hereby adopts this Social Media and Endorsement Policy (this “Policy”).
This Policy applies to all GUCCI independent contractors, employees, agents, speakers, writers, bloggers, talent, endorsers and any other individual or entity engaged in promotional activities on behalf of GUCCI, whether they are engaged by GUCCI directly, or through an agency, representative of an agency, subsidiary, or franchise (collectively referred to herein as “Endorsers”).
This Policy is intended to outline the policies and procedures of GUCCI with respect to any and all advertising messages or promotional communications made by Endorsers. It is also intended to address endorsements and testimonials made by Endorsers about GUCCI, and/or its products and services, whether those endorsements and testimonials are made through “traditional media,” such as television commercials or print ads, or “new media,” or “social media,” such as websites, blogs, mobile applications or any other form of media that may be used by advertisers.
Endorsers are legally responsible for their opinions, comments and content. Individual Endorsers can be held personally liable by third parties for any commentary deemed to be defamatory; obscene; proprietary to, or owned by, others; or libelous to GUCCI, its suppliers/partners or any other person or entity. For these reasons, Endorsers should exercise caution with regard to exaggeration, colorful language, guesswork, obscenity, materials used in content, conclusions, images and/or video, and derogatory remarks or characterizations.
In addition, Endorsers should at all times be mindful that, given advances in technology, opinions, comments or content may remain public, and may be archived, stored and retrievable, indefinitely.
2. Standards of Conduct
With respect to statements or other claims made in advertising messages or promotional communications about GUCCI and/or its products or services, Endorsers must adhere to the following principles:
a. Endorsers may only make statements that reflect their honest beliefs, opinions, experiences or recommendations. GUCCI encourages these statements to be in the first person. Endorsers may not make statements about experiences with a product that they have not personally tried, examined or evaluated.
b. Endorsements by organizations must reflect the collective judgment of the organization, as approved by senior management.
c. Endorsers may not make deceptive or misleading claims about GUCCI’s products or services, or GUCCI’s competitors’ products or services, to consumers.
d. Endorsers may not make any claims about GUCCI’s products or services, or GUCCI’s competitors’ products or services, that are not substantiated (i.e., claims may not be made about a product that would require proof that the Endorser does not have).
e. Endorsers may not engage in any communication that is defamatory or infringes upon the intellectual property, or privacy and publicity rights of others, including competitors.
f. Endorsers may not offer for sale, or solicit, products or services on behalf of GUCCI.
g. Endorsers may not make offensive comments that have the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating or hostile environment, including telling lies or spreading rumors about GUCCI or its affiliates and their respective Endorsers, officers, directors, shareholders, agents, representatives, licensees or competitors.
h. Endorsers may not use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, or other offensive language.
i. Endorsers may not make any comments or post any content that in any way promotes unsafe activities that could lead to an unsafe situation involving GUCCI’s customers or other individuals.
j. Endorsers may not make any comments or post any content that may violate applicable local, state or federal laws or regulations.
l. Endorsers must strive for high quality with every comment or post, including adherence to basic spellchecking and rules of grammar.
m. Endorsers that are also employees of GUCCI must also adhere to any and all guidelines provided by GUCCI to its employees with respect to social media and related matters.
n. Endorsers must adhere to any specific additional guidelines provided by GUCCI.
o. Endorsers must always use sound judgment and common sense.
3. Disclosure Requirements
a. Endorsers must clearly and conspicuously disclose and make readily apparent all “material connections” to GUCCI in all advertising messages and promotional communications concerning GUCCI and/or its products or services.
i. A “material connection” is one that could influence the weight or credibility a reasonable consumer would give to the communications or messages made by the Endorser. Such connections may be in the form of (a) consideration (such as monetary compensation, including fees or commissions; gift cards; event access; prizes; or free or discounted products or services) provided by GUCCI (or any of its agents acting on its behalf) to the Endorser, or (b) a relationship between GUCCI and the Endorser (such as employment or contractual relationships).
ii. Some examples of appropriate material connection disclosures are:
- I received [product] from GUCCI as a gift;
- [Thanks to][Courtesy of] GUCCI, I was given this [product]
- GUCCI sent me [product] to try;
- Some of the products reviewed in this blog post were sent to me by GUCCI;
- This post is a paid advertisement for GUCCI;
- I am an employee of GUCCI.
These are simply examples of appropriate disclosures and variations on these examples may be appropriate based on the context. The key is to make it apparent to the reasonable consumer that GUCCI provided the subject product or service, as opposed to the Endorser independently purchasing or obtaining the subject product or service.
iii. It is not sufficient to make a single disclosure on a home page or legal terms/disclaimer page that, for example, “many of the products I discuss on this site are provided to me free of charge by their manufacturers.” Disclosures should be tied to the specific products at issue and readily apparent to readers of the particular blog post.
iv. When using a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or similar platform, Endorsers should endeavor to include a link on their main profile page directing followers to a comprehensive disclosure statement.
b. Endorsers who post their own opinions, comments, content or recommendations about GUCCI, and/or its products or services, must disclose that their views do not necessarily represent those of GUCCI.
4. Third Party Endorsers
Endorsers that employ or contract with third parties to have such third parties deliver advertising messages or other promotional communications to consumers (e.g., advertising agencies, network marketing agencies and blogger networks) are also required to cause those third parties to agree to this Policy before engaging them to communicate to consumers about GUCCI and/or its products or services.
5. Trademarks and Intellectual Property
All emblems, logotypes, insignia, designs, devices, colors, artwork, trademarks, trade names, service marks, trade dress and copyrights, and the commercial goodwill associated therewith, that at any time were or are owned, applied to be registered or registered (irrespective of class of goods/services), controlled, cleared for use by, or on behalf of, or licensed by GUCCI or any of its affiliates may only be used or posted by Endorsers with the prior written consent of GUCCI in each instance, strictly in accordance with the specific guidelines provided by GUCCI.
Endorsers may develop, have access to, or directly or indirectly be exposed to, information of a proprietary and confidential nature about GUCCI (including without limitation its business operations and activities, strategic plans and financial information) which, if disclosed, could have a negative effect on GUCCI. Endorsers shall keep confidential and not disclose any such information and, upon termination of an Endorser’s relationship with GUCCI, the Endorser shall promptly return to GUCCI any confidential information in the Endorser’s possession. In the event that there is any question as to whether particular information is confidential in nature, Endorsers must promptly contact GUCCI for clarification and approval before posting, commenting, blogging or uploading content.
7. Press Inquiries
Endorsers’ endorsements and testimonials may generate media coverage. Media inquiries of any kind regarding endorsements or testimonials relating to GUCCI, whether from online (news engines, bloggers) or mainstream (newspapers, magazines) media outlets, must be referred to GUCCI using the Notice information below. Endorsers may not engage in any discussions or correspondence with any members of the media, or make any public oral or written statement, in each case regarding endorsements or testimonials relating to GUCCI, without first consulting with, and receiving permission from, the appropriate authorized GUCCI representative in each instance.
Any questions concerning the contents of this Policy should be referred to firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. Right to Modify Policy
GUCCI reserves the right to amend, restate, supplement or otherwise modify this Policy at any time. In the event of a dispute as to the interpretation of this Policy, GUCCI’s interpretation shall be final.
10. Effective Date
This Policy is effective immediately and was last updated October 15, 2013.