Skip to main content

IMC Law, Policy and Ethics

IMC 459-6 (Elective)

While the title of the course may seem a bit daunting, ultimately the readings and discussions provide guidance and tools to help marketing professionals recognize legal and ethical issues concerning their responsibilities on the job.  From copyright infringement to data privacy, trademark issues to sweepstakes’ rules, the class is interactive on several fronts, from the discussion board where students share their personal marketing experiences or reflect on various assigned cases to Yellow Dig, where everyone can post the latest news on issues involving marketing to children or the legality of “smart tags” on new clothing that surreptitiously tracks buying habits.   

Top lawyers specializing in these areas of law are frequent speakers during the weekly hour-long online sessions. Previous guests include a lottery/contests lawyer who explained the nuances of making sure you are doing it right and the lawyer who successfully briefed the “Dancing Baby” case, where the musician Prince sued a mom for copyright infringement after she posted 29 seconds of his song “Let’s Go Crazy” with a YouTube video of her dancing baby.  

Expect a lively debate on issues such as the fairness of the multimillion verdict against Dominick’s food stores for using Michael Jordan’s jersey (not his face) in an ad without his express permission to Evel Knievel suing Kanye West for infringing his right of publicity (and the surprise ending to that case). 

The bottom line: You will be able to recognize important issues when you are assigned a project with social media implications, especially cutting-edge law that involves not-so-clear-cut answers to questions involving the digital world that often call for you to use more than common sense.  And you will know when it’s time to reach out to the legal department for input. 

We will create a framework around which you can create a policy to carry out your tasks more effectively and with a knowledge that no other class offers.  As one student put it, IMC 459 created “a stronger background on legal issues facing marketers.”  Join us!

Advisory notes for online students: Students with experience managing marketing communications programs will benefit from this course.