Paul I. Menes

Virtually Sustainable? The Current Viability of Virtual Influencers

Virtual influencers (“VI”), those creations of CGI and artificial intelligence (“AI”), were the rage and “next big thing” in influencers when the first one, Miquela Sousa, a/k/a Lil Miquela, stormed the Internet in 2016. Created by the start-up Brud, she was a 19 year old living in California, with a passion for fashion and music,…

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Know the Risks of Video Teleconferencing!

In an effort to stay connected during the COVID-19 crisis, many of us have turned to video teleconferencing platforms and apps (“VCPs”) to stay connected and do business while staying at and working from home. VCPs, like FaceTime and What’s App, were originally designed for virtual social meetups and conversations with friends and family who…

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Influencers, Use Your Influence to Save Lives !

According to several recent articles and advisories I’ve read quoting infectious disease specialists, including from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”), many Gen Y and Gen Z-ers (I’ll now refer to them in this article the “Gens”) have been ignoring “Stay at Home” orders, social distancing, and other advice of medical…

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Fyre Fest Scandal Reignites, and Influencer Agencies, Management and PR Firms Are Getting Burned

Earlier this year, I wrote an article for Entrepreneur magazine about the now-infamous Fyre Festival. Among other topics, the article dealt with how not only influencers, but recently brands, agencies, and others involved with influencers, were being scrutinized by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) for failures to properly disclose endorsements.   It also posited that…

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A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words – And Maybe A Lawsuit

What do Gigi Hadid, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lopez, Khloe Kardashian, and Victoria Beckham have in common? They’re just some of the celebrities, big and small, who’ve been sued for copyright infringement by photographers, often paparazzi, for posting photos on their own social the photographers took of them. Often, this was after…

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When It Comes To Posting Your Photos, Ask Permission, Not Forgiveness

There’s a theory to which my girlfriend subscribes: “Ask forgiveness, not permission”. While I generally agree, it doesn’t apply to posting photos of you someone else takes.   Recently, a federal court threw out a lawsuit against influencer and supermodel Gigi Hadid, for posting to Instagram a photo of herself that was taken by a…

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No Ifs, Ands or Bots. Bot Use Disclosure Now Mandatory In California.

As anyone who shops online knows, many sellers and service providers offer messaging options that allow visitors to ask questions and interact with the site. Often, the “person” they’re communicating with isn’t real (although it often seems human – “Hi! I’m Tina! Can I help you?”).   It’s a chatbot, a type of bot that…

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Authenticity – Influencers Should Never Have It Take A Vacation

I read a surprising article about a couple, the Smiths, who run the Instagram @The_greatescape.blog, which claims about 28,000 followers. The blog details their two year round-the-world trip. The article is about Ms. Smith admitting that she wasn’t honest in her blog about the couple’s experiences during their three months in the Dominican Republic.   She’s…

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Silence Isn’t Golden If You’re an Influencer

Most influencers are aware of their obligations to clearly disclose when they have a “material connection“ to a brand they’re endorsing. (For those of you unfamiliar with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Endorsement Guides’ disclosure requirements, you can check out a short blog or longer article I wrote that talks about them.   But, a…

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How Influencers Can Influence More Revenue and Stay Out of Trouble

Social media platforms such as YouTube and Instagram have become the go-to destination for video content consumption by teens and millennials. It far surpasses what they consume on television. These platforms (often referred to simply as “social”), collectively generate billions of views, and hundreds of millions of hours of watch time, every single day. Teens…

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