611.10 Readings in Advertising and Contracts

Advertising is intended to persuade. The ultimate goal is to cause recipients to take action.  If successful, ads produce a relationship that, among other things, implicates the law. Usually the result is a contract.  A recurring, but largely under-analyzed, issue is whether the content of pre-contract ads has legal significance.  The historical trend of the law has been to be dismissive of the arguments that statements in ads are actionable.  Often it is found that the content of ads is not specific enough or, alternatively, that effect on any given consumer is uncertain.

This Readings course explores interdisciplinary sources to provide more information about the cultural role of advertising and the actual behavioral impacts of the medium. There is, for example, a significant question whether any individual ad actually affects behavior.  On the other hand, advertising exists because of a belief that it is an effective tool to guide consumer preferences.

We will also examine how advertising messages intersect with the law of contracts.  The relevant concepts are those that relate to the topics of effective consent, misrepresentations, and warranties.

The assignments in the course will include readings, short written submissions, projects, and discussions.  The instructor is very attentive to the fact that this is only a one hour course and that the total workload should be limited accordingly.

The class will meet in two-hour segments and will not extend over the entire semester.  The class will end well before the examination period.

Special Notes:

Class will not meet every week and will not go the entire length of the semester. Specific class dates will be forthcoming.

Spring 2017

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Reflective Writing
Class participation
John C. Weistart
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.611.10.Sp17
Email list: LAW.611.10.Sp17@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - LLM
Course Areas of Practice
Course Areas of Practice