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Malcolm Phillips_Rules of engagement_SMCC2011


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Malcolm Phillips presentation on Rules of engagement at Social Media in a Corporate Context conference, London 2011

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Malcolm Phillips_Rules of engagement_SMCC2011

  1. 1. Rules of engagement: implications of the ASA’s extended digital remit for PR & corporate communications<br />Communicate: Social Media in a Corporate Context<br />Thursday 2 June<br />Malcolm Phillips <br />CAP Code Policy Manager<br /><br />
  2. 2. At a glance<br />The ASA:<br /><ul><li>is the independent ‘one-stop shop’ for complaints about advertising (2009: 29,000 complaints about 14,000 ads, 2,200 formally investigated and 560 upheld)
  3. 3. monitors compliance with the ad rules
  4. 4. conducts research on consumer perception of ads</li></ul>CAP/BCAP: the ‘self’ in self-regulation<br /><ul><li>writes the mandatory Ad Codes
  5. 5. provides pre-publication compliance advice, training and guidance
  6. 6. applies sanctions to secure compliance</li></li></ul><li>The CAP Code<br /><ul><li> Not just a Code for content and placement, but also addresses:
  7. 7. administration of prize promotions
  8. 8. database practice</li></li></ul><li>Key advertising rules<br /> Advertisements must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to the audience and to society<br /> Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.<br /> Marketing communications must not mislead the consumer by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.<br />Material information is information that the consumer needs to make informed decisions in relation to a product. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead the consumer depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the marketing communication is constrained by time or space, the measures that the marketer takes to make that information available to the consumer by other means.<br />
  9. 9. Why extend the digital remit of the CAP Code?<br />All marketing communications should be legal, decent, honest and truthful wherever they appear<br />Call for action from large advertisers (WFA, ISBA)<br />Consumer imperative: c. 3,500 complaints (08-09)<br />Political imperative: focussing on protection of children<br />Now we have the right tools: remit, sanctions, funding<br />
  10. 10. Sectoral rules<br />Alcohol<br />Gambling (including lotteries)<br />Food<br />Weight Control & Slimming<br />Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products<br />Financial products<br />Motoring<br />Employment, homework schemes and business opportunities<br />Tobacco, rolling papers and filters<br />
  11. 11. Challenge for the ASA<br />To regulate only content which can be properly accepted as constituting an advertisement or other marketing communication (i.e. content within the new remit)<br />To ensure other types of content remain outside the jurisdiction of the ASA (i.e. content which the CAP Code explicitly excludes from remit or which is implicitly excluded by virtue of not falling within the new remit)<br />
  12. 12. Extended Digital Online Remit<br />Advertisements and other marketing communications by or from companies, organisations or sole traders on their own websites, or in other non-paid-for space online under their control, that are directly connected with the supply or transfer of goods, services, opportunities and gifts, or which consist of direct solicitations of donations as part of their own fund-raising activities.<br />
  13. 13. Remit definition<br />‘directly connected with the supply or transfer of goods, services etc’ :<br /><ul><li>to ring-fence material which can be properly accepted as constituting an ad or other marcomm
  14. 14. to bear out a primary intent of marketing communications: to sell something
  15. 15. there are a myriad of different ways in which a marcom can sell something; it need not include a price or seek a short term financial transaction</li></li></ul><li>Remit definition (2)<br />‘other non paid-for space online under [the advertiser’s] control] :<br /><ul><li>covers ads and other marketing communications for organisations appearing on their own websites and in other non-paid for space online under their control e.g. advertiser page on Facebook.  
  16. 16. this responds to the popularity and growing importance of social media, and the exponential growth of marketing communications in this space</li></li></ul><li>Content excluded from remit<br />Press releases and other public relations material<br />Editorial content<br />Political advertisements<br />Corporate reports<br />Natural listings on a search engine or a price comparison site<br />Investor Relations: information about an organisation (including its goods or services) addressed to the financial community, including shareholders and investors, as well as others who might be interested in the company's stock or financial stability.<br />
  17. 17. What we talk about when we talk about PR material<br />Primary responsibility for compliance with the CAP Code rests with the marketer / brand<br />An online marketing communication may have been produced by a digital advertising agency, a CRM agency or PR agency, but the ASA will look to the brand<br />The CAP Code defines a consumer as “anyone who is likely to see a given marketing communication, whether in the course of business or not”<br />Key questions for the ASA: what is the purpose of this communication? To whom is it addressed? Is it trying to sell something?<br />There is a need to move from a debate about ownership to a debate about purpose<br />The ASA and CAP have worked with the CIPR and PRCA to ensure clear mutual understanding about the limits and reach of digital remit extension<br />
  18. 18. Re-tweets – In remit<br />
  19. 19.
  20. 20. 2.3<br />Marketing communications must not falsely claim or imply that the marketer is acting as a consumer or for purposes outside its trade, business, craft or profession; marketing communications must make clear their commercial intent, if that is not obvious from the context.<br />
  21. 21. Social media news releases<br />Written with the press in mind<br />May have features designed to optimize the SMNR for better search results, sharing and comments in social bookmarking, microblogging and social networking communities<br />The more it is aimed at consumers, the less likely the ASA is to regard it as straightforward PR material.<br />The ASA will assess the content and what might be inferred about the marketer’s targeting. Is it a viral ad, or a press release?<br />
  22. 22. Resolving complaints<br />As part of the Process Review, the ASA has undertaken to “target a meaningful and measurable increase in the proportion of cases that can legitimately be resolved informally to effect quicker resolution of issues for the benefit of all parties”<br />
  23. 23. Background<br />Vast majority of marketing communications comply with the Codes<br />Primary SR objective: to maintain and improve standards and not simply to punish (prevention preferable to cure)<br />Objective underpinned by an effective range of industry-backed sanctions<br />Emphasis on persuading marketers to comply with the Codes; escalation of pressure although the threat is often enough <br />
  24. 24. CAP Services<br />In 2009, advice and training was provided on more than 47,000 occasions.<br />
  25. 25. Thank you<br /><br />