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Old 10-09-09, 01:41 PM
Tres Tres is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Little Rock, AR
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Default APA pins down lottery advertising restrictions

In the past several weeks, the Arkansas Press Association (APA) has received several requests for information regarding restrictions on advertising for the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery. APA’s Tres Williams, communications director and lobbyist, has been working with the Law Firm of Quattlebaum, Grooms, Tull and Burrow and the Arkansas Lottery Commission to provide guidance to the state’s newspapers.

“We’re forced into an ad hoc approach to getting at advertising guidelines,” said Williams, “because there is nothing in the enabling act that puts limitations on non-Commission advertising.” There are also very few written guidelines developed thus far by the Lottery Commission.

As a result APA is having to get answers as the questions come in, but the association has pinned down operational rules with regard to two issues that have arisen.

The first of those concerns involves the use of the Lottery logo and trademarks by individual retailers in advertisements. Retailers are permitted to use those and other promotional materials developed by the Arkansas
Lottery Commission (ALC) “without charge to the user or compensation to ALC for its use.” However, each retailer must obtain prior written permission from the commission, must execute a retailer contract and must be duly licensed by the commission. Similarly, the ALC has trademarked the name, “Arkansas Scholarship Lottery,” so any use of it by retailers in advertisements must also be approved in advance after receipt of a written request from the retailer.

Furthermore, the commission expects each retailer to submit to it for approval all ads created for print or broadcast that use logos, trademarks or the name “Arkansas Scholarship Lottery” prior to dissemination. APA is advising newspapers that receive individual retailer ads featuring the official lottery logo, trademarks, names, etc., to examine the retailer’s written approval from the commission as well as the license. The logo may not be altered in any way, “including a change in color,” without express written approval from the director of the Lottery Commission or his designee. Those selling ads on behalf of their newspapers should be aware that the lottery retailer is expected to get approval of all ad copy from the ALC.

Because ALC has copyrighted the logos and registered the trademarks, failure to follow the prescribed procedure could result in trademark/copyright infringement even though the responsibility to obtain written approval is placed on the retailer.

The second rule revolves around licensure itself, and newspapers can protect themselves and their advertisers from potential liability by simply asking to examine the license of any Arkansas retailer prior to placing advertising for the Scholarship Lottery. As an added precaution, newspapers may want to retain a photocopy of the license and written permission.

“We are currently in the process of trying to get answers to additional questions that have been raised recently,” said Williams. Additional advertising guidelines will be passed on to members in this publication as they are provided.
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