The FTC to Update Guidance for Online Advertising:  What Does the Future Hold? Rich Cleland, Assistant Director, FTC Divis...
AGENDA <ul><li>Overview of FTC’s Initiative to Update “Dot Com Disclosures” </li></ul><ul><li>A Brand Marketer’s Perspecti...
The FTC Initiative:     Rich Cleland <ul><li>Background into “Dot Com Disclosures” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2000 Issuance </l...
  A Brand Marketer’s   Perspective Joe Chernov , VP of Content Marketing, Eloqua Tw: @jchernov
About Me <ul><li>VP of Content Marketing, Eloqua </li></ul><ul><li>Co-chair Ethics Advisory Panel, WOMMA </li></ul><ul><li...
Marketers Get Endorsement Guides    (for the most part) <ul><li>Still some crises caused by ethical transgressions </li></...
Timeline of Disruptive Technologies
Four “Facebook Era” Concerns <ul><li>“ Generic endorsements” that prevent disclosure  </li></ul><ul><li>It’s possible to a...
Sometimes Tech Impedes Disclosure <ul><li>Value of “transitive trust” rises as social graph spreads, but disclosure impede...
Can a TOS be a Trap? <ul><li>Official statement: “Quora’s policy is that a user  should  disclose any relevant affiliation...
A New Value Emerges: SEO <ul><li>If +1’s affect/will affect the SERPs, a company or SEO firm could pay groups to +1 site, ...
Overlooked Audience <ul><li>Do disclosure requirements apply to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Celebrities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul>...
PRSA Comments to FTC PRSA Comments to FTC Keith Trivitt Associate Director of Public Relations Public Relations Society of...
Public Relations Society of America <ul><li>World’s largest organization of PR and communications professionals </li></ul>...
PRSA Code of Ethics <ul><li>Industry standard for 60+ years </li></ul><ul><li>All PRSA members (32,000) required to abide ...
Objectives of PRSA Commentary <ul><li>Provide perspective of 200,000+ U.S. PR professionals  </li></ul><ul><li>Interest in...
PRSA’s Recommendations to FTC <ul><li>Further restrictions risk stifling innovation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-regulation ...
PRSA’s Recommendations to FTC <ul><li>Merge “Blogger Rules” with Dot Com Disclosures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Significant ove...
Commitment to Responsible  Marketing <ul><li>PRSA committed to responsible marketing and communications practices — both o...
Commitment in Action <ul><li>PRSA letter to editor of  USA TODAY , Aug. 18, 2011: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Even tech-savvy ...
Final Comments <ul><li>PRSA strongly committed to principle of transparent online marketing and comms </li></ul><ul><li>PR...
Final Recommendations <ul><li>FTC should hold public workshop to obtain full input from all stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li...
Other Comments to FTC <ul><li>Nature of commentators </li></ul><ul><li>Common themes presented </li></ul><ul><li>Issues pr...
?? Questions ?? The FTC to Update Guidance for Online Advertising:  What Does the Future Hold? Rich Cleland, Assistant Dir...
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WOMMA Webinar: The FTC to Update its Guidance for Online Advertising: What Does the Future Hold?

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WOMMA Webinar: The FTC to Update its Guidance for Online Advertising: What Does the Future Hold?

  1. 1. The FTC to Update Guidance for Online Advertising: What Does the Future Hold? Rich Cleland, Assistant Director, FTC Division of Advertising Practices Anthony E. DiResta , Partner, Winston & Strawn [email_address] ; (202)282-5782 Keith Trivitt , Associate Director of Public Relations, PRSA; Tw: @KeithTrivitt Tw: @PRSA Joe Chernov , VP of Content Marketing, Eloqua Tw: @jchernov
  2. 2. AGENDA <ul><li>Overview of FTC’s Initiative to Update “Dot Com Disclosures” </li></ul><ul><li>A Brand Marketer’s Perspective: Emerging Technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Perspective from the Public Relations Society of America </li></ul><ul><li>Comments to the FTC’s Initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul>
  3. 3. The FTC Initiative: Rich Cleland <ul><li>Background into “Dot Com Disclosures” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2000 Issuance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subsequent Developments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Clear and conspicuous” standard </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Expectations and Outcomes Desired by FTC in light of “new media” or emerging technologies </li></ul>
  4. 4. A Brand Marketer’s Perspective Joe Chernov , VP of Content Marketing, Eloqua Tw: @jchernov
  5. 5. About Me <ul><li>VP of Content Marketing, Eloqua </li></ul><ul><li>Co-chair Ethics Advisory Panel, WOMMA </li></ul><ul><li>Contributor to WOMMA’s ethics code </li></ul><ul><li>Member of WOMMA task force on emerging technology </li></ul><ul><li>Contributor to previous public comments re: Endorsements & Testimonials Guides </li></ul>
  6. 6. Marketers Get Endorsement Guides (for the most part) <ul><li>Still some crises caused by ethical transgressions </li></ul><ul><li>Most marketers understand transparency is essential </li></ul><ul><li>Public, media, associations reasonable at “policing” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Timeline of Disruptive Technologies
  8. 8. Four “Facebook Era” Concerns <ul><li>“ Generic endorsements” that prevent disclosure </li></ul><ul><li>It’s possible to adhere to some sites’ TOS, yet still (potentially) violate FTC guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>The battleground may shift to search </li></ul><ul><li>Are there “sacred cows”? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Sometimes Tech Impedes Disclosure <ul><li>Value of “transitive trust” rises as social graph spreads, but disclosure impeded by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One-click endorsements (Likes, +1’s / hearts on Instagram, Frenzapp, Tumblr / votes on Quora) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Status emblems in some geosocial networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter’s auto-RT function </li></ul></ul><ul><li>My solution: Avoid material incentives unless disclosure can be made; don’t use auto-RT when connection exists </li></ul>
  10. 10. Can a TOS be a Trap? <ul><li>Official statement: “Quora’s policy is that a user should disclose any relevant affiliations explicitly in an answer or in the topic bio …” </li></ul><ul><li>My solution: Replace should with must ; don’t use “variable disclosure” </li></ul>
  11. 11. A New Value Emerges: SEO <ul><li>If +1’s affect/will affect the SERPs, a company or SEO firm could pay groups to +1 site, product, etc. to improve search rank </li></ul><ul><li>My Solution: Don’t mess with this; don’t mess with Google </li></ul>
  12. 12. Overlooked Audience <ul><li>Do disclosure requirements apply to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Celebrities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shareholders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Angels / VCs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advisors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Board members </li></ul></ul><ul><li>My solution: Hope some clarity emerges from the Arrington/Huffington drama </li></ul>
  13. 13. PRSA Comments to FTC PRSA Comments to FTC Keith Trivitt Associate Director of Public Relations Public Relations Society of America Tw: @KeithTrivitt
  14. 14. Public Relations Society of America <ul><li>World’s largest organization of PR and communications professionals </li></ul><ul><li>Established in 1947; headquartered in New York </li></ul><ul><li>Mission: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PRSA provides professional development, sets standards of excellence and upholds principles of ethics for its members and, more broadly, the multi-billion dollar global public relations profession. We also advocate for greater understanding and adoption of public relations services, and act as one of the industry’s leading voices on the important business and professional issues of our time. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. PRSA Code of Ethics <ul><li>Industry standard for 60+ years </li></ul><ul><li>All PRSA members (32,000) required to abide by Code of Ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Advocates for transparency and honesty in communications </li></ul><ul><li>Code Provisions: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Free Flow of Information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Competition </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Disclosure of Information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Safeguarding Confidences </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conflicts of Interest </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Enhancing the Profession </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Objectives of PRSA Commentary <ul><li>Provide perspective of 200,000+ U.S. PR professionals </li></ul><ul><li>Interest in enhancing transparency in online marcomms </li></ul><ul><li>Specificity in recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>Modernization of guidelines given current online marketing challenges </li></ul>
  17. 17. PRSA’s Recommendations to FTC <ul><li>Further restrictions risk stifling innovation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-regulation in this space can work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More timely & clear guidance needed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Character and text limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Issue over inclusion of brand disclosures at every point of social media communications and marketing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarity needed regarding how brands can reasonably provide disclosures within character-limited social networks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Seeking clear guidance from FTC </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How businesses can appropriately communicate with and market consumers online </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. PRSA’s Recommendations to FTC <ul><li>Merge “Blogger Rules” with Dot Com Disclosures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Significant overlap </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disclosure is key issue in both </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Disclosure is paramount </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disclosure of relationships, motivation, compensation and other pertinent factors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Clear and Conspicuous” Standard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Companies should be transparent in ALL communications and marketing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reality of Twitter-led marketing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is “clear and conspicuous” still viable? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Commitment to Responsible Marketing <ul><li>PRSA committed to responsible marketing and communications practices — both offline and online </li></ul><ul><li>Committed to disclosure in ALL online communications and marketing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Code of Ethics advocates for transparency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aiding the public’s informed decision-making </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Providing necessary information to inform consumers’ purchasing decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disclosing information that may negate certain value points of a product or service </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Commitment in Action <ul><li>PRSA letter to editor of USA TODAY , Aug. 18, 2011: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Even tech-savvy parents can be unaware that their children are being influenced online by marketers. It's for this reason that the Public Relations Society of America strongly supports the Federal Trade Commission's effort to update its online advertising disclosure guidelines …. Whether marketing to children or adults, we have a responsibility to ensure consumers have the necessary information to make informed decisions regarding their online activities and privacy.” </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Final Comments <ul><li>PRSA strongly committed to principle of transparent online marketing and comms </li></ul><ul><li>PRSA members abide by industry-leading Code of Ethics </li></ul><ul><li>PRSA Code of Ethics as industry’s self-regulation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Has succeeded for more than 60 years </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Final Recommendations <ul><li>FTC should hold public workshop to obtain full input from all stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>PRSA can be viable partner for FTC in discussions of online marcomms disclosure </li></ul>
  23. 23. Other Comments to FTC <ul><li>Nature of commentators </li></ul><ul><li>Common themes presented </li></ul><ul><li>Issues presented to FTC </li></ul>
  24. 24. ?? Questions ?? The FTC to Update Guidance for Online Advertising: What Does the Future Hold? Rich Cleland, Assistant Director, FTC Division of Advertising Practices Anthony E. DiResta , Partner, Winston & Strawn [email_address] ; (202)282-5782 Keith Trivitt , Associate Director of Public Relations, PRSA; Tw: @KeithTrivitt Joe Chernov , VP of Content Marketing, Eloqua Tw: @jchernov

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