Social media across industries
Clayton Utz has a diverse client base across both public and private sectors. From a social media perspective, this means we have:
experience in advising organisations of different sizes with varying social media needs and levels of uptake; and
developed an appreciation of social media strategies, and their importance, in a variety of industries, including in the mining, retail and financial services industries as well as in the government sector.
In turn, our clients benefit from legal advice which is commercially informed and current.
Multidisciplinary expertise for social media's complex legal and practical challenges
Our dedicated social media team is drawn from experts across a wide range of specialist areas of law, all with strong experience in social media use and misuse, including:
workplace relations, employment and safety law;
Australian Consumer Law;
directors' duties and continuous disclosure laws; and
IP and IT law.
Our premier litigation and dispute resolution practice, particularly its crisis management experts, underpins the social media team so clients can rely on us for help with both advisory and contentious aspects of their social media presence.
Creating and maintaining a social media presence
- a large advertising company in relation to a very successful and award winning social media campaign it was developing for one of its clients which involved the use of a number of the social media platforms. In doing so, we provided advice on the risks arising from the conducting of the competition which formed a part of the campaign, drafted the terms and conditions for the competition and advised on the steps that needed to be taken to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the social media platforms that were to be used;
- a global mining company advice in relation to the use and management of social media generally within the organisation;
- a major government department and a large charitable organisation on the development and drafting of effective social media policies.
Reputation management on social media
- a global mining company in relation to the posting of a number of offensive videos on YouTube. We conducted an investigation in both Australia and overseas for the purposes of identifying those responsible for posting the content and advised in relation to the steps that could be taken to have the content removed;
- a leading independent school in Federal Court proceedings against a parent (whose child was expelled from the school) who had established a website proclaiming to be the official school website and which denigrated the principal and Board of the School and used images of school children from official photographs taken from the official school's website;
- a major religious institution in connection with anonymous commentary made about a priest on a website critical of his views on homosexuality and equality;
- a major university in connection with a social media "hate mail" campaign against a visiting academic who had published articles on "teaching" homosexuality in schools;
- a major religious institution in relation to a parishioner who was recording conversations with a parish priest without consent and then publishing those recordings with adverse commentary on YouTube and Facebook;
- a large property development company in respect of two websites which were created using our client's name and trade marks and which contained misleading information and defamatory statement about our client and its officers;
- an individual in respect of some defamatory remarks that were posted a website which was hosted in the US and which had gained notoriety as being a platform for free speech;
- a broadcaster on the unauthorised use of broadcast footage as part of YouTube videos where the actors' voices were dubbed with new dialogue. This raised issues of copyright infringement and moral rights, and consideration of whether taking action would only attract more attention to the videos and encourage copycats.
Employees and social media
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- a variety of public and private organisations in respect of the implementation of social media policies and issues arising from the conduct of current and former employees;
- a major government department in respect of the legal implications of conduct by current and former employees on social media;
- a corporation in the recruitment sector in employment litigation where social media use by employees was an important evidentiary issue in the case.