America Outdoors Association
America Outdoors Association

March 19, 2013


Mark your calendars for the AOA meeting in Albuquerque, NM,  December 10-12!

America Outdoors Association Bulletin

NPS Authorizes Concessioner Mark for NPS Concessions Contract Holders

Some States Prohibit Surcharges for Use of Credit Cards

FTC Staff Revises Online Advertising Disclosure Guidelines

NPS Authorizes Concessioner Mark for NPS Concessions Contract Holders

Director John Jarvis just announced that concessioners under contract will be allowed to use the National Park Service logo and Authorized Concessioner mark subject to approval by the Superintendent of the unit and under certain conditions outlined in the NPS announcement.  Requests must be submitted in writing to the Park Superintendent. The NPS Arrowhead (Arrowhead) is the official symbol of the NPS and is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Its use is strictly controlled through laws, regulations, and policies issued by the NPS Director.

Who may use the Mark?
• Concessioners operating under a current Concession Contract with the National Park Service.
• Concessioners who have received a “Marginal” or “Satisfactory” Annual Overall Rating for the previous year.

Who may not use the Mark?
• Operators performing services under a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA).
• Concessioners who have received an “Unsatisfactory” Annual Overall Rating for the previous year.
• Concessioners with terminated or expired concession contracts.

Where can the Mark be used?
• Brochures and other informational publications
• Written advertising
• Interpretive materials
• Broadcasts – television, film, or other audiovisuals media
• Internet-based information – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, corporate websites
• Signage for official Concessioner functions or purposes (storefront windows)
• Signage on visitor transportation system vehicles, vessels, and aircraft

Read the entire NPS announcement for a complete list of terms and conditions and to see the mark.

Some States Prohibit Surcharges for Use of Credit Cards

As of January 27, 2013 merchants accepting credits card were authorized to charge merchant surcharges for use of credit cards to recover the associated processing fees. VISA and MasterCard agreed to allow the surcharges as a result of the settlement in the class action lawsuit that wrapped up last year.

Now 10 states have made surcharges illegal; those states include:
• California
• Colorado
• Connecticut
• Florida
• Kansas
• Maine
• Massachusetts
• New York
• Oklahoma
• Texas

Merchants wishing to tack-on surcharges must follow specific rules and should develop some strategies to deal with consumer backlash, as some consumer groups are organizing protest movements.

FTC Staff Revises Online Advertising Disclosure Guidelines

"Dot Com Disclosures" Guidance Updated to Address Current Online and Mobile Advertising Environment

In March the Federal Trade Commission released new guidance for mobile and other online advertisers that explains how to make disclosures clear and conspicuous to avoid deception.

According to the FTC:
Updating guidance known as Dot Com Disclosures, which was released in 2000, the new FTC staff guidance, .com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising, takes into account the expanding use of smartphones with small screens and the rise of social media marketing. It also contains mock ads that illustrate the updated principles.

America Outdoors Association
PO Box 10847
Knoxville, TN 37939

Phone: 1-800-524-4814

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