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Apple clamping down on free iPad, iPhone promotions

post #1 of 32
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Apple has been more strictly enforcing its guidelines for promotions, which forbid the use of the iPad, iPhone or an iPhone gift card, according to a new report.

Fortune reports that Apple has only recently "begun reaching out to companies to enforce" its Guidelines for Third Party Promotions. The current version of the two-page document dates back to at least April 2010, but contest organizers haven't always followed it.

For instance, the guidelines specifically state that "iPad, iPhone and the iPhone Gift Card may not be used in third-party promotions." However, iPads and iPhones are currently featured in a number of giveaways. As demand for the iPad and iPhone has surged in recent years, a growing number of companies and institutions have sought to capitalize on Apple's valuable brand cachet by running promotions promising free devices.

Apple does allow promotional use of the iPod touch "in special circumstances," but only with a minimum purchase of 250 units. The guidelines also forbid the use of the Myriad Set font "on or in connection with web sites, products, packaging, manuals, or promotional/advertising materials."

In an effort to prevent the Apple brand from being diluted, the company prohibits "The use of "free" as a modifier in any Apple product reference in a prominent manner (headlines, call- outs, etc.) is prohibited." Apple also requires that "all marketing materials related to the promotion of Apple products" be submitted for review.

The guidelines also strictly govern how Apple products are depicted in promotional materials. The iPad maker requires that "only the most current Apple products" be featured and product photos cannot be altered, partially displayed, or cluttered with "props, models or marketing messages."

While such a document is standard practice for corporations, the news that Apple has begun to more strictly enforce these guidelines appears to indicate the company is tightening up control of its brand.
post #2 of 32
If I want to buy an iPad and give it away for free to promote something. I'm going to do it. They can go to hell. Apple has quickly changed into Microsoft over the past few years. Sad times.

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post #3 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post

If I want to buy an iPad and give it away for free to promote something. I'm going to do it. They can go to hell. Apple has quickly changed into Microsoft over the past few years. Sad times.

Important to note, this only applies to iPads and iPhones purchased under a special promotional agreement, specifically the agreement they sent out. No, Apple cannot stop you from buying an iPad and giving it away in a promotion. Apple can stop you from buying it under a special program and giving it away.

http://apple.slashdot.org/story/11/0...iPad-Giveaways
post #4 of 32
They can't prevent you from giving it away. However, they can prevent you from using the term 'iPad' in any of your advertising materials since that's a trademarked term. You could probably get away with advertising it as a touch screen tablet thingy and Apple wouldn't have a problem with that.
post #5 of 32
The fewer "Shoot the iPhone to win!" ads I see, the better.
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post #6 of 32
Sorry, but if you are out to just ride a wave of popularity and brand good will - I think you should really be fucking put in a straight jacket. What I'm tired of is promoters taking something, cheapening it up, and then whoring it out on the street for fun and profit. It happens to everything from Coke Zero to Miley Cyrus.

American culture does this; Apple putting an end to it is fine by me. I never liked this facet. If someone feels as if their freedoms are limited then perhaps you can trash another brand with crap good will. Perhaps a Motorola Xoom will suit your needs.
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post

If I want to buy an iPad and give it away for free to promote something. I'm going to do it. They can go to hell. Apple has quickly changed into Microsoft over the past few years. Sad times.


Definitely misunderstood you're there (see subsequent post). How's that changed into Microsoft? Remember, always provide example(s) to illustrate your point otherwise you'll run the risk of portraying yourself as a clueless troll and a stupid one at that.
post #8 of 32
As a tiny Apple stockholder, I'm fine with the company protecting its brand equity. Now what I'd like to see is their taking action against the scam artists who use the appeal of Apple products to cheat people. I hate seeing those web ads promoting iPads, iPods, and iPhones at impossibly good prices to draw people in.
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by danv2 View Post

Sorry, but if you are out to just ride a wave of popularity and brand good will - I think you should really be fucking put in a straight jacket. What I'm tired of is promoters taking something, cheapening it up, and then whoring it out on the street for fun and profit. It happens to everything from Coke Zero to Miley Cyrus.

American culture does this; Apple putting an end to it is fine by me. I never liked this facet. If someone feels as if their freedoms are limited then perhaps you can trash another brand with crap good will. Perhaps a Motorola Xoom will suit your needs.

You should come to Asia. If you think Apple has trouble enforcing this rule in the US, wait till they come to Asia.

Having worked with a Apple Reseller here, they've been quite strict with us... But many big brands like Nestle and big banks and credit card companies have gotten away with ZOMG WIN AN IPAD!!! promotions.

Myriad Set/Pro/Text/Apple is another issue, there's far too much copying of that font when used in an Apple promotional context. I'm very guilty of it during my time at the Apple Reseller but to be fair once we caught wind of Apple not being too happy there was some transition to Helvetica Neue.

Believe me, enforcement is a big headache for Apple.
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moshe View Post

As a tiny Apple stockholder, I'm fine with the company protecting its brand equity. Now what I'd like to see is their taking action against the scam artists who use the appeal of Apple products to cheat people. I hate seeing those web ads promoting iPads, iPods, and iPhones at impossibly good prices to draw people in.

This is actually the bigger issue, the scamming is so widespread... and annoying!
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo View Post

Important to note, this only applies to iPads and iPhones purchased under a special promotional agreement, specifically the agreement they sent out. No, Apple cannot stop you from buying an iPad and giving it away in a promotion. Apple can stop you from buying it under a special program and giving it away.

http://apple.slashdot.org/story/11/0...iPad-Giveaways

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjojade View Post

They can't prevent you from giving it away. However, they can prevent you from using the term 'iPad' in any of your advertising materials since that's a trademarked term. You could probably get away with advertising it as a touch screen tablet thingy and Apple wouldn't have a problem with that.

Yes, the strict promotional guidelines are enforced for those that buy in presumably large volumes as a business-to-business transaction with Apple.

Of course if a company is giving away 5 iPads that someone just bought online or something then they are only subject to the use of trademarks, imagery, etc. You can give it away free as long as you meet the conditions at http://www.apple.com/legal/trademark...rdparties.html from what I can tell.

Still, always an uphill battle for Apple, but if you are a shareholder you'd want them to be as effective and efficient as possible without having to delve into excessive litigation. Especially with the "Win An iPhone/iPad!" scams.
post #12 of 32
There is little Apple can actually do. Even for the products sold under their promotion agreements, they cannot stop those companies from giving away the product in any manner they want. All Apple can do in this case is stop selling to that company.

I don't know if Apple can really control the use of Myriad Set either.

Apple has really only two legal options... copyright infringement if the promotion is using Apple supplied artwork against the licensing terms for that artwork. However the company can take their own pictures of iPads and iPhone and use those freely.

Their other option would be to show the company is trading on and tarnishing Apple's brand improperly. One such thing is if the promoter attempted to convey that they had a relationship with Apple that they don't... using Apple's trade dress would be an example of this, which would likely include using Myriad.
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post

If I want to buy an iPad and give it away for free to promote something. I'm going to do it. They can go to hell. Apple has quickly changed into Microsoft over the past few years. Sad times.

The issue is not what you think or whether Apple will succeed in every instance. It is whether Apple has an obligation -- as does anyone else -- to try and protect its brand name.
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post

If I want to buy an iPad and give it away for free to promote something. I'm going to do it. They can go to hell. Apple has quickly changed into Microsoft over the past few years. Sad times.

Well, Apple has done ALL of the work to produce that iPad and the Apple brand. They can absolutely put out guidelines about how you should use the brand that they own. You can also be a dick and ignore the guidelines.

I am the owner of a very small manufacturing company (we manufacture skin care products) but we have placed ourselves as a premium brand in a particular niche market. I can tell you that when you place your brand as a premium product people will jump all over your brand to get whatever mileage they can out of it. We publish guidelines on advertising to all of our wholesalers and retailers. Not all of them follow them. If they don't we'll simply stop selling our products to them. We spend gobs of money in quality control, R&D, and marketing to make sure our brand is the best in our market. We just can't afford for other people to piggy back off of it and leave us in the dust.

There's nothing wrong with a company trying to protect its brand image.
post #15 of 32
Belarus is pretty good at controlling it's population too.
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosstheboss View Post

Belarus is pretty good at controlling it's population too.

Wow comparing a successful American company to a dictator in a foreign country, while providing no argument to justify the comparison.

Classy.
post #17 of 32
I think you got the gist of it. You're a well traveled open-minded lot here...

The comments on this Apple 'Insider' article always makes me wonder about the reader demographic...

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...threadid=92273
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosstheboss View Post

Belarus is pretty good at controlling it's population too.

Corollary to Godwin's Law: Any comparison to the situation in any historical or contemporary dictatorial state abdicates the comparator of winning the argument.

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post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by gavers View Post

There is little Apple can actually do. Even for the products sold under their promotion agreements, they cannot stop those companies from giving away the product in any manner they want. All Apple can do in this case is stop selling to that company.

I don't know if Apple can really control the use of Myriad Set either.

Apple has really only two legal options... copyright infringement if the promotion is using Apple supplied artwork against the licensing terms for that artwork. However the company can take their own pictures of iPads and iPhone and use those freely.

Their other option would be to show the company is trading on and tarnishing Apple's brand improperly. One such thing is if the promoter attempted to convey that they had a relationship with Apple that they don't... using Apple's trade dress would be an example of this, which would likely include using Myriad.

Above in bold... That is one thing Apple is absolutely freaked out about. Taking your own product shots or modifying product shots from Apple is very frowned upon. Apple would claim "improperly trading on and tarnishing Apple's brand", trade dress and so on as you mention.

See "Depiction of Apple products" in http://www.apple.com/legal/trademark...rdparties.html

1. Endorsement or Sponsorship: Apple does not support the use of its logos, company names, product names, or images of Apple products by other parties in marketing, promotional or advertising materials as their use may create the perception that Apple endorses or sponsors the product, service or promotion.

Developers can modify iPhone images, etc. to show their apps though:

2. Compatibility: If you are a developer, you may show an image of an Apple product in your promotional/advertising materials to depict that your product is compatible with, or otherwise works with, the Apple product or technology, provided you comply with the following requirements:

a. Your product is in fact compatible with, or otherwise works with, the referenced Apple product.

b. The image is an actual photograph of the genuine Apple product and not an artist’s rendering (Note: You must obtain express written permission from Apple before using any photograph owned or licensed by Apple).

c. The Apple product is shown only in the best light, in a manner or context that reflects favorably on the Apple products and on Apple Inc.

d. The reference to Apple does not create a sense of endorsement or sponsorship by, or other false association with, Apple or Apple products.

In other words other than in personal, developer or "fair-use" contexts... (A) you shouldn't be taking pictures of Apple products and (B) you must use Apple-supplied product pictures and use it correctly.
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Yes, the strict promotional guidelines are enforced for those that buy in presumably large volumes as a business-to-business transaction with Apple.

Of course if a company is giving away 5 iPads that someone just bought online or something then they are only subject to the use of trademarks, imagery, etc. You can give it away free as long as you meet the conditions at http://www.apple.com/legal/trademark...rdparties.html from what I can tell.

Still, always an uphill battle for Apple, but if you are a shareholder you'd want them to be as effective and efficient as possible without having to delve into excessive litigation. Especially with the "Win An iPhone/iPad!" scams.

Thanks. You provide the link to the root document that everyone should read to fully understand the context of this article.

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post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

The issue is not what you think or whether Apple will succeed in every instance. It is whether Apple has an obligation -- as does anyone else -- to try and protect its brand name.

Yup, I don't think Apple should blindly go on a rampage but brand enforcement is of course important and they should do it efficiently and effectively. Practically, it is highly challenging.
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

Thanks. You provide the link to the root document that everyone should read to fully understand the context of this article.

Cheers. To recap:

If you are purchasing Apple products in volume in a business-to-business relationship with Apple or Apple resellers, this is an example of the conditions of your promotional activities:
http://fortunebrainstormtech.files.w...nes_1-1-11.pdf

Anything else in general falls into copyright and trademark guidelines:
http://www.apple.com/legal/trademark...rdparties.html

Of course there is some overlap, internally Apple would probably decide whether to enforce another company's promotions according to the first document or the second one I linked to. Either way Apple has covered its bases.
post #23 of 32
Apple can stop people from using its products in its advertising though. For instance, my bank was advertising that it was giving away a free iPod Nano. The bank is using Apple's trademarked name for commercial purposes, which Apple has a say over. I can't see why Apple would want to end that though. THe bank probably bought thousands of iPods. It gives them away ever year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gavers View Post

There is little Apple can actually do. Even for the products sold under their promotion agreements, they cannot stop those companies from giving away the product in any manner they want. All Apple can do in this case is stop selling to that company.

I don't know if Apple can really control the use of Myriad Set either.

Apple has really only two legal options... copyright infringement if the promotion is using Apple supplied artwork against the licensing terms for that artwork. However the company can take their own pictures of iPads and iPhone and use those freely.

Their other option would be to show the company is trading on and tarnishing Apple's brand improperly. One such thing is if the promoter attempted to convey that they had a relationship with Apple that they don't... using Apple's trade dress would be an example of this, which would likely include using Myriad.
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosstheboss View Post

Belarus is pretty good at controlling it's population too.

It's illegal to give away iPads in Belarus?
post #25 of 32
Apple's concern is not the giveaways but the advertising of the giveaways. They don't want the iPad and iPhone to be thought of as tchotchkes. The iPod brand got tainted by cheesy, spammy giveaway and contest ads. Not controlling the advertising risks the brand name become genericized like Kleenex. The worst thing is if some kid calls a non-Apple mp3 player an iPod. They don't want iPhone to become a generic name for smartphones and they don't want iPad to become a generic name for tablets.

So Apple is saying no one but Apple and authorized partners can feature these Apple products in ads. Their trademark rights can stop anyone from making an iPad or iPhone ad. If you can't advertise a giveaway there isn't much point of having one.
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Yup, I don't think Apple should blindly go on a rampage..

Although it must be said that a blind rampage by Apple would be supremely entertaining. You know, stepping on cars and knocking down buildings and so forth.
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Although it must be said that a blind rampage by Apple would be supremely entertaining. You know, stepping on cars and knocking down buildings and so forth.

Jobszilla.
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post #28 of 32
We've even patented the way people can promote our products.

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post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post

If I want to buy an iPad and give it away for free to promote something. I'm going to do it. They can go to hell. Apple has quickly changed into Microsoft over the past few years. Sad times.

I have an idea - why don't you buy 10,000 iPads and give them all away? That'll show 'em.
post #30 of 32
How ironic: free phone promotions like BOGO form the backbone of Android phone sales.

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post #31 of 32
I'm for this. Not to mention the countless time I've gotten stupid pop-up ads in my Hotmail and Yahoo inbox. This shit gets old. Also online promoting free ipads or a link that is made to fool you, so you when you click on it there is something totally different. HALF OF THESE AD'S ARE SCAMS anyways But only one thing that bothers meis you can't control who uses a image online but only to so much of an extent
post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post

Remember, always provide example(s) to illustrate your point otherwise you'll run the risk of portraying yourself as a clueless troll and a stupid one at that.

I don't see how they can restrict someone from using the name "iPad" when someone is giving an iPad. You have to be able to identify the product being given away. That sounds like Apple is trying to control "fair use".

Here's an example for you: iOS. They have complete control. SJ loves it. It's very un-Apple (for those who are old enough to know). Soon the Mac OS will be locked down if they can sell it to you. Apple used to be about making the best products, but now it has turned unto making the best profit.


When Apple wasn't evil the concept of overriding the device so you could use it as you saw fit didn't exist. Once the greed set in, that concept was born. Now keep in mind that I have been an Apple person longer then many on here have been alive and I admire Steve Jobs very much. However, a personality like Steve Jobs needs to have a checks and balance system. Otherwise the greed will take over.

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