Gonzalo Mon’s practice is focused on marketing and advertising law. He advises a wide range of companies in all aspects of promoting their brands, and works closely with them to find practical solutions to even the most complex legal problems.
Mr. Mon helps his clients determine what they can say about their products and services in ads, as well as what type of evidence they need to support their claims. He has successfully defended clients when their ads have been challenged by regulators, competitors and consumers, both in court and before the National Advertising Division (NAD). He has also helped clients challenge their competitors when those competitors made claims they could not support.
As companies experiment with new strategies to promote their brands, Mr. Mon helps them identify and address the issues raised by these strategies. For example, he has advised clients on how to run various campaigns on social media, how to work with influencers, and when new ways of collecting information raise privacy issues. Recommended by The Legal 500 U.S., clients report that Mr. Mon does “an excellent job of balancing the legal risk and the business exigencies” concerning these campaigns.
Mr. Mon also drafts and negotiates many of the agreements that underlie his clients’ marketing campaigns. Among other things, he has worked on advertising agency agreements, promotion agreements, sponsorship agreements, app development agreements and endorsement agreements with actors, athletes, musicians and other celebrities.
Moreover, Mr. Mon has extensive experience in a variety of promotions including sweepstakes, contests, text-to-win promotions, and promotions with user-generated content. In addition to domestic promotions, he has assisted clients with clearing promotions in more than 25 countries worldwide.
Rather than say “no” when his clients propose ideas that don’t fall squarely within the boundaries of the law, Mr. Mon takes the time to understand his clients’ business operations and goals, and helps to design a strategy to achieve their objectives in ways that offer less risk. He is particularly effective in situations where the law is unclear, and tries to find a sensible way to fit cutting-edge ideas into the framework of regulations that have not kept pace with innovation.
Mr. Mon is valued for maintaining a calm presence in even the most tense scenarios, adapting quickly to the situation and/or personalities involved while remaining approachable, reasonable and level-headed. Because of his knowledge of the law and business, he knows how to find and establish the middle ground. As a result, he is able to support the resolution process without taking an extreme position or losing sight of his client’s original intentions.
Mr. Mon knows firsthand what in-house counsel and business executives require to do their jobs effectively. He spent more than three years working on-site in a technology client’s legal department, where he reviewed the majority of the company’s advertisements, drafted various agreements, advised on product launches, and assisted with various promotions. This experience helped him better understand the needs of in-house counsel and business executives.
Of particular note, Mr. Mon was named Washington, D.C. Advertising “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers® in 2012, and has appeared on their list of top advertising lawyers for six years. He writes extensively on advertising and promotion law issues. In addition to his many posts on Advertising Law Access,his articles have appeared in national publications such as the Practical Law Journal, Mashable, E-Commerce Law & Policy, Retailing Today, Mobile Marketer, Sports Litigation Alert, Law360, Bloomberg BNA’s Social Media Law & Policy Report and PROMO. Mr. Mon is also frequently invited to speak at events hosted by groups such as the Brand Activation Association, American Conference Institute, Practical Law Company, Sales & Marketing Executives International, and various bar associations.
Assisted a global consumer products manufacturer in launching a high-profile advertising campaign involving claims against a major competitor. As part of the campaign, Mr. Mon helped his client select the test protocols, evaluate test results, craft the claims, and respond to network clearance requests.
Assisted a major corporation in responding to complaints and threatened litigation from a competitor after claims that appeared on his client’s packages were no longer accurate. Mr. Mon advised on a strategy for dealing with the competitor, and helped negotiate a mutually agreeable settlement.
Drafted and negotiated various endorsement agreements with actors, athletes, musicians and other celebrities. For example, Mr. Mon recently negotiated two multi-million-dollar celebrity endorsement agreements on behalf of an international footwear company. Both celebrities agreed to appear in promotional videos, pose for print ads, engage in social media campaigns, and appear at certain events.
Advised various companies on how to structure and conduct influencer campaigns. Mr. Mon has advised these clients on what steps they needed to take in order to comply with the law, helped set up appropriate policies and monitoring procedures, and drafted agreements with the influencers.
Helped an online travel agency launch a marketing campaign that involved re-branding, the launch of a new spokesperson, and various new claims.
Defended a major consumer products company in a false advertising lawsuit filed by one of its competitors. Throughout the process, Mr. Mon advised the client on strategy and helped negotiate a favorable settlement that did not involve the payment of any money.
Assisted various companies in determining whether their websites are subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act and are required to be accessible to the blind. Mr. Mon has also helped many of these companies quickly settle threatened lawsuits.
Helped an international restaurant chain challenge various comparative claims made by one of its major competitors. The challenge resulted in a favorable decision at the NAD, and the decision was later upheld by the NARB.
Assisted a major fashion retailer in structuring an instant win promotion in the U.S. and Canada. The promotion included over $100 million in prizes. Mr. Mon assisted the retailer in determining how to structure the promotion, helped draft the rules, reviewed all advertising materials, and worked on the underlying agreements.
Worked on dozens of social media promotions involving platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. Mr. Mon has helped clients determine how outdated laws apply to these new technologies, as well as helped them comply with platform requirements.
Defended a company against a class action lawsuit in California in which the plaintiffs had alleged that one of the company’s promotions violated lottery and gambling laws. After winning the case at trial, Mr. Mon successfully defended the company on appeal.
Drafted and negotiated deals with teams across a range of sports, including baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer, horse racing and even professional bull riding. Mr. Mon has also worked on similar deals outside of the sports world. For example, he has helped clients secure sponsorships to concerts, festivals and other types of events.
Helped a client draft and negotiate an advertising agency agreement for a major campaign in various countries.
Negotiated a mobile development agreement on behalf of a major international retailer. As part of the negotiation, Mr. Mon helped the client secure the necessary rights to the app, advised on privacy issues, and helped ensure the agreement provided adequate protections for consumer data.
Helped a major international retailer structure a text message campaign. As part of the campaign, Mr. Mon helped the company comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), assisted in negotiating an agreement with a service provider, and reviewed the campaign messages.
Represented a debt broker in an investigation brought by the FTC in which the agency alleged that the broker had exposed highly sensitive information about consumers online.
Assisted various fashion companies and retailers in creating pricing policies and in responding to questions from regulators about those policies.
Helped a global technology company run a contest in which participants were asked to film a commercial for the chance to win a prize. Mr. Mon drafted the rules for the promotion, helped protect the company from problematic user-generated content, and ensured the company had rights to the winning submissions.
Memberships & Associations
E-Commerce Law & Policy, editorial board member
Brand Activation Association
American Bar Association Consumer Protection Law Developments – Update, editorial board member
Judge, Promotion Marketing Association REGGIE Awards, 2012-2013
Honors & Awards
Named 2012 D.C. Advertising “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers®.
The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.), Advertising Law, 2012-2017.
Named as a recognized practitioner by Chambers USA in the Advertising: Transitional and Regulatory area, 2015-2016.
Recommended in US Legal 500 for his work in the Marketing & Advertising area, 2010-2012 and in the Data Protection & Privacy area, 2011-2012.
Named 2013 Privacy and Information Security “Lawyer of the Year” by Lawyer Monthly.