Legal Issues In Self Storage Online Marketing

Today is the last day of the 2013 Self Storage Association Ski Retreat. This morning we’re listening to a presentation from Carlos Kaslow, Esq., and Scott Zucker, Esq.  of the Self Storage Legal Network. Here are notes from the presentation related to online marketing for the self storage industry.

“Before the law marketing and pornography are equivalent. Now you marketers know how Congress feels about you.” – Carlos Kaslow

Marketing and advertising

  • What is the CAN-SPAM law? Is is a federal law that regulates e-mail marketing. The FTC has authority to regulate marketing e-mails.
  • E-mails, test messages and Robo calls. Be aware of the Telephone Consumer Protectin Act. The law treats automated calls (robo calls) differently from live calls.

Defamation in social media

  • Do you know what your employees are saying on Facebook?
  • Can you control what your employees are saying?
  • Should you put up negative reviews on your competitors’ social media profiles on Google Maps, Google+ Local, or Yelp? Short answer–no. Long answer–no.
  • With reference to competitors never say anything publicly about rats, mice, or vermin. Question from the audience “What about snakes?” Response from Carlos, “Only if prefaced by the word ‘exotic’.” That got some laughs.
  • Does your employee handbook say anything about social media? Do your employees have a false expectation of privacy when they access their social media sites or their email account while working in your office?
  • Comment from G5 – Don’t let your employees set up social media accounts for your company under their name, because if they leave you may not have any way to get access to that profile. Set up a business account and let the appropriate employee access it, but not own or have total control over it.


  • There are no more local brands today
  • It’s not just protecting a name, it’s protecting a search. Remember that company U-Store-It? They had to change their name because too many other companies were using the name and they had to struggle to get search results for their own name.
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