Heather Nolan

Heather Nolan



Heather E. Nolan, a partner at InfoLawGroup, has over 13 years of legal experience focused on providing proactive and practical legal advice for marketing, promotion, and advertising programs using a wide spectrum of platforms and technology.

Heather is a key team member to clients by helping to address the myriad of legal issues throughout the planning, designing, launching, and administering of these programs, as well as for those clients who create and distribute their own content. On a daily basis, Heather counsels on the traditional and emerging intellectual property and digital media legal issues they trigger. She regularly works on multi-platform programs that involve digital videos, viral campaigns, web sites, mobile apps, promotional offers, giveaways, sweepstakes, skill contests, games, loyalty programs, coupons, rebates, and e-mail, text message, and mobile marketing, as well as all related agreements, terms, disclosures, and campaign elements. Heather also has extensive experience handling all aspects of promotions that involve charities and charitable causes.

Heather is a member of the Brand Activation Association (“BAA”), part of the Association of National Advertisers, and a regular speaker at its annual law conference and webinars. Heather previously practiced law at Wildman Harrold (now part of Locke Lord) in Chicago.

Representative Experience

  • Counsels about legal compliance for advertising and promotions in all forms of traditional and emerging media, including giveaways, sweepstakes, skill contests, charitable promotions, game promotions, loyalty programs, coupons, rebates, web sites, mobile apps, as well as e-mail, text message, mobile marketing, and viral marketing campaigns.
  • Drafts consumer-related terms and conditions related to advertising campaigns and materials, promotions, web sites, apps, and social media platforms, and advising about related legal issues such as disclosures and consent/agreement.
  • Drafts and negotiates transactional documents related to promotions, including sponsorship, co-promotion, charitable promotion, licensing, and other e-commerce, technology, and promotion agreements.
  • Counsels on privacy issues related to marketing practices, web sites, data collection and use, and drafting web site terms of use and privacy policies.
  • Represents clients in various trademark matters, with special focus on clearance and prosecution.

Practice Areas

      • Advertising, Marketing, and Promotions
      • New Media
      • E-commerce
      • Trademarks and other Intellectual Property
      • Privacy

Bar Admission

      • Illinois, 2003


      • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D., 2003, magna cum laude
      • University of Wisconsin, B.S., 2000, phi upsilon omicron national honor society
      • International and domestic travel, including to study drum and dance

Speaking Engagements

“Practical Tips for Registering and Bonding a Charitable Promotion”, BAA Marketing Law Conference, Chicago, IL, forthcoming November 2015

“Updating Your Status 24/7”, Women Leaders in Advertising and Marketing Law conference, New York, NY, forthcoming October 2015

“Social Media Promotions: UGC and Intellectual Property Issues in Social Media”, BAA Sweepstakes, Contests, and Games Council webinar, July 2015

“Gamification”, BAA Sweepstakes, Contests, and Games Council webinar, July 2015

“Social Media and IP Law” and “Getting the Biggest Bang for the Buck: Getting the Most out of Non-traditional IP”, Gulf Coast Intellectual Property Association, October 2014

“Protecting your Brand in the New gTLD World”, BAA Marketing Law Conference, Chicago, IL, November 2013

“Spotlight on Promotion Contracts”, BAA Marketing Law Conference, Chicago, IL, November 2012

“Best Practices for Virtual Marketing, Blogs and Testimonials”, BAA Marketing Law Conference, Chicago, IL, November 2011

“Advertising Issues for Non-Advertising Lawyers”, IPLAC, Chicago, IL, November 2011

“The Basics of Advertising”, BAA Marketing Law Conference, Chicago, IL, November 2010

“The Basics of Advertising”, BAA Marketing Law Conference, Chicago, IL, November 2009

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The FTC’s advice for online giving portals that collect on behalf of charities

Seventy-eight percent of Americans believe companies must do more than just make money – they must also positively impact society, according to the recent 2018 Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study. Not only did 79% of respondents say that they are more loyal to purpose-driven companies, but 73% said they would be willing to defend those companies. … Continue Reading

Brands Are Creating Virtual Influencers, Which Could Make the Kardashians a Thing of the Past

But brands could face legal troubles along the way We all know that spokespeople and endorsers can be erratic. Wild antics can generate negative PR and damage brands. What if you could eliminate the threat of a spokesperson going rogue while still tapping into the massive influencer audiences? Although swapping the Kardashians for virtual influencers … Continue Reading

Charity Compliance is No Stranger to the Bracket Business

Are you or your company inviting charitable donations to fill out a tournament bracket for a shot at the prize? Putting aside the typical lottery and game of chance issues, involving a charity or charitable donations in your March Madness celebrations could weave other legal compliance webs – namely, triggering compliance with state charitable promotion … Continue Reading

BYOB: Be Your Own Broadcaster (and Studio) –What to watch out for in content creation and distribution

2017 is starting to look like the year of DIY content creation and distribution. Companies are becoming their own studios and broadcasters at a seemingly record pace. If your organization doesn’t already have its own channel or stream, there’s a good chance someone is at least considering making it happen. We work hand in hand … Continue Reading

It’s Not Just For Kids – FTC Takes Issue with Search Terms and Testimonials

The FTC started 2015 by showing its continued attention to advertising concerning kids and testimonial issues, as well as an advertiser’s purchase of search terms. In a recent case brought against a manufacturer of children’s supplements, the FTC had concerns about its advertising claims, use of testimonials, and lack of disclosures, as well as its … Continue Reading

The Games Advertisers Play: Heather Nolan to present this week on Gamification

This Wednesday, Heather Nolan will discuss the legal issues related to Gamification. The session is part of the Brand Activation Association’s comprehensive, 6-part webinar series, which has been covering the A-Z must-knows of sweepstakes, contests and games. This week’s session will be helpful to business and legal team members who are interested in using game … Continue Reading

New COPPA Options for Verifiable Consent

Yesterday, the FTC gave its blessing to some new ways that covered organizations can obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting personal information from children under 13. The updated COPPA Rule FAQs offer expanded options to get consent using payment card information and for developers using a third party such as an app store to get … Continue Reading

Even When the Connection is Obvious, Publishers Should Consider Disclosures in Native Advertising

Recently, a publisher’s article about its own branded products was caught in the headlights of a decision by the National Advertising Division (NAD).  An article in Shape magazine discussed the health benefits of staying hydrated and described attributes of Shape-branded products called “Shape Water Boosters.”  NAD, a division of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council administered by … Continue Reading

Maine Streamlines Its Regulation of Charitable Promotions

October is breast cancer awareness month, and we often see an increased number of charitable promotions being proposed in connection with the cause.  As previously posted about, various structures of charitable promotions and advertising calls-to-action may trigger a myriad of compliance obligations for both the for-profit entity and the charity involved.  After learning of the … Continue Reading

Trolls Attack! Another Reason “Template” Official Rules Aren’t Enough for Your Promotion

Ben Stein contributed to this post. Earlier this week, Boston’s KISS FM canceled its “Taylor Swift’s Biggest Fan” contest after trolling users of the 4chan and Reddit online forums catapulted a participant to the winning spot. This and other recent promotions that have been similarly compromised serve as a reminder of the importance of having … Continue Reading

Domain Complaints – The Public’s Concern and ICANN’s Request Regarding Closed Generic Domains

ICANN’s system for new generic top level domains (gTLDs) presents a number of issues that have yet to be resolved – and ICANN has recently asked the public to help with a solution to one of them. About 1900 applications for new gTLDs are currently pending. Only about 40% of these are applications for brand … Continue Reading

Advertising About Charities and Charitable Causes: It’s the Details that Matter

“Our company will support the Charity.” “A percentage of proceeds go to cancer research.” “With every purchase, a donation goes to Charity.”  Stating or implying that a purchase or other action by a consumer will benefit a charity or charitable purpose is appealing to attract consumers’ attention, but this type of messaging needs special attention … Continue Reading

NLRB Issues Report on Employer Social Media Policies

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) recently issued another report analyzing provisions of six different employer social media polices.  As we have previously discussed, these periodic NLRB reports provide guidance for how to draft and apply policy provisions that attempt to restrict or guide employees’ use of social media.  Specifically, in the latest report, among … Continue Reading

Google+ Pages Allow Linking, but Not Hosting Promotions

Google+ just opened itself up for businesses and now allows entities to set up company Google+ pages. With this launch, Google announced a number of policies dictating what page owners can and cannot do on their Google+ page, including its “Contest and Promotion Policies.” These new policies outright prohibit anyone from running “contests, sweepstakes, offers, … Continue Reading

33rd Annual PMA Marketing Law Conference

This week, Jamie Rubin and Heather Nolan from the InfoLawGroup will speak at the industry’s leading marketing law conference, hosted by the Promotion Marketing Association. The 33rd Annual Marketing Law Conference will take place this Tuesday and Wednesday, November 15-16, at the Downtown Chicago Marriott/Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois. Jamie Rubin will speak on a … Continue Reading

Posting a Privacy Policy May Not Be Enough – NARC to Enforce Industry Principles

If your company has a posted privacy policy, it may be a good time to confirm that the cookies, tracking technologies, and other activities currently being used on your web site or sites are still consistent with your existing policy and industry standards. The National Advertising Review Counsel ("NARC") of the Better Business Bureau has recently … Continue Reading

Financial Industry Gets New Guidance on the Use of Social Media

Banks and other financial institutions face unique issues when it comes to the use of social media. Faced with conflicts between social media platform rules, customer expectations, self-regulatory standards, and the strict regulations that govern the industry, guidance has been needed. The industry received some of that guidance recently through a whitepaper issued by BITS, the technology arm of The Financial Services Roundtable whose members are 100 of the largest financial institutions in the U.S. The report addresses the compliance, legal, operational, and reputational risks - and related mitigation strategies - of using social media in connection with a financial or banking operation. Regarding compliance, the report discusses the myriad of compliance areas relevant to banks, including marketing, privacy and security. For example, because social media web sites and web activities are deemed advertising by regulators, the report warns of the risks of failing to comply with various marketing laws and regulations applicable to the banking industry, including state Unfair and Deceptive Acts or Practices Acts and Prize and Gift Acts, as well as others that require additional steps for financial institutions, such as Truth in Lending, Truth in Savings, and FDIC membership rules. The paper predicts even stronger and more subjective requirements to come under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Risks of non-compliance vary widely - from litigation and reputation risk, regulatory enforcement actions and in some cases civil money penalties. … Continue Reading