April 2, 2015: Meerkat and Periscope Raise Legal Concerns for Brands, SXSW Still Draws Big Crowds, University Drops Common as Commencement Speaker

April 2, 2015, 8:26 AM EDT

1. MEERKAT, PERISCOPE RAISE LEGAL CONCERNS FOR BRANDS: As brand marketers look to jump in on the latest buzzy social media platforms, industry experts warn of the potential lawsuits that could arise from using Meerkat and Periscope to live stream video at events. That includes being careful about filming celebrities as well as everyday consumers. Adweek: ”‘From a branding standpoint, livestreaming is an absolute train wreck in waiting,' said Alan Chapell, a lawyer and head of his marketing consulting firm Chapell and Associates. 'Somebody is going to screw up.’ ... Since putting random people in your video could lead to trouble, and legal release forms are needed, marketers should plan ahead, so anyone who shows up knows they're being filmed, [Michael Krivicka, co-founder of Thinkmodo] said. So, before anyone pops into the frame, it's best to alert them, or avoid areas where random people are seen.”

2. SXSW STILL GROWING DESPITE CHANGES: If there were concerns the changes made to this year's South by Southwest would affect attendance, official figures reveal the tech, music, and film festival is as big as ever. The total number of registered badgeholders rose about 6 percent to 84,385. And while the music portion is the fastest-growing, with an increase of 8.2 percent, the interactive conference remains the biggest attraction, bringing in 33,825. Austin Business Journal:

3. UNIVERSITY DROPS COMMON AS COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER: Shortly after revealing that Common would be speaking at its upcoming graduation ceremony, New Jersey's Kean University retracted the announcement, saying it had been made prematurely. The Record: “The choice of the singer was strongly opposed by state police who were concerned that he sympathized with a convicted cop-killer in an old song. ... Chris Burgos, president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association of New Jersey, called the choice of the rapper as Kean’s commencement speaker a ‘slap in the face’ to those who serve and protect. ‘What is troubling here is that a state university that is subsidized with state taxpayer funds, is once again being questioned on their decision-making at the highest levels,’ Burgos said in an emailed statement.”

In related news, the University of Houston revealed it's paying $135,000 to have Matthew McConaughey speak at its commencement address in May. The Academy Award-winning actor will donate his fees to the JK Livin Foundation. Associated Press:

4. A LOOK AT THE BEST APRIL FOOLS PRANKS BRANDS PULLED: April 1 remains a day where advertisers and marketers unleash their playful sides, making silly announcements, posting humorous videos and photos to social media, and surprising customers by changing their websites. Adweek has a roundup of the best gags from brands.


BOSTON:  Select Oyster Bar opens in the Back Bay on April 3; its patio is scheduled to open around April 13.

CHICAGO:  Prime & Provisions, a steakhouse, will open on May 2. The 12,000-square-foot venue will seat 300 guests indoors and 50 on its patio.

LAS VEGAS:  In honor of its 50th anniversary, Papillion Group will unveil a golden helicopter in its fleet at a celebration on April 16.

LOS ANGELES:  Makeup salon Blushington and Veuve Clicquot have teamed up to offer Beauty and Bubbles packages for groups, with makeup applications and champagne.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  South Florida Women's Chamber of Commerce will host its South Florida Women’s Expo April 9 at Sawgrass Grand hotel in Sunrise.

NEW YORK:  The 16th annual Stars of Stony Brook University fund-raising gala will honor actress and activist Jane Fonda. The event takes place April 22 at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers.

Stand-up comic Hannibal Buress will host the 2015 Webby Awards on May 18 at Cipriani Wall Street. Billboard:

Chef Marcus Samuelsson opens Streetbird Rotisserie in Harlem today. The 68-seat restaurant has a design inspired by hip-hop and street culture from the 1970s to 1990s.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

SAN FRANCISCO:  Global Coworking Unconference Conference, which will look at the co-working movement, meets May 6-8 at NextSpace in Berkeley.

TORONTO:  Terrior Hospitality Industry Symposium will host a May 11 event with the theme “Pioneering Change: Crafting the Way We Eat.” The event will take place at Arcadian Court and will include main stage presentations from writer Francis Lam and editor Helen Hollyman.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic will host the second annual Evening of Wishes gala May 16 at Mandarin Oriental. The black-tie benefit includes dinner, dancing, a silent auction, and a “live wish experience.”

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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