This post is co-authored by Alan M. Pate
FTC’s Native Advertising Workshop Postscript: Regulatory Forecast Still Unclear
On December 4th, the FTC held its eagerly anticipated workshop on native advertising—“Blurred Lines: Advertising or Content”. To underscore how seriously the regulator is taking the advertising practice, the chairwoman Edith Ramirez kicked off the conference. She was followed by other heavyweights at the agency, including Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection and Mary K. Engle, Associate Director of Division of Advertising Practices. The ambitious day-long agenda began with a historical overview of the FTC’s regulation of sponsored content and expanded to consumer ad perception research, native ad critiques, and a spirited panel discussion on what constitutes “best practices”. In addition to the FTC’s speakers, panelists included many of the major players in the online advertising industry, such as Buzzfeed, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the Huffington Post, and National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (NAD).
Ultimately, presenters and panelists arrived at anything but a consistent answer on how native advertising should be policed. As the FTC’s Mary K. Engle noted during the last panel discussion, the workshop likely... Read more
Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz is arguably the most powerful person in our industry. I'm thrilled that he'll be joining us onstage for "ad:tech inspire" at the Javits Center in New York on November 8th. Mr. Leibowitz will give a short presentation and then sit down with a panel of industry experts, but I want to crowd source at least a FEW of the topics we'll kick around-- I'll also be interviewing him here at iMedia Connection.
The other ad:tech inspire panelists are Dave Morgan of Simulmedia, Grace Liau of Vivaki and Scott Meyer of Evidon.
We're working on the session description now and I'll share it soon, but in the meantime please respond in comments with the questions you think we should ask.
And learn more about ad:tech New York here.
So, I think it’s no secret that for Web projects, technical teams and marketing teams tend to have an inherent distrust for one another. And, as a guy who works in bridging the technical and marketing teams across these types of projects, I have a few rules that I like to set out between the teams.
For the technical teams, at least in the initial concept meetings, the geeks are not allowed to say “why it won’t”. They can pitch how to solve a challenge, or they can pitch a new solution (e.g. an enhancement) to an existing problem. In short, they’re not allowed to poke holes and point out why ideas “won’t work”. That’s for later.
For the marketing teams, they have an opposite rule. They have to live by the same rules, of course, but in addition they’re not allowed to use the word “just” to open up any idea. In other words, they’re not allowed to say “just build a Web site feature that makes Unicorns come out of the screen...”
So, here comes the FTC with it's privacy proposal and the "Do Not Track" issue is becoming hot and heavy. And both technologists and marketers are already talking about how it won't work, and... Read more
In recent weeks, there has been buzz surrounding a staff discussion draft published by the FTC on the state of news media. In the report, the FTC states that the intent of this discussion was, in part, to gain information for “potential policy recommendations to address the issues raised during this proceeding” which centered on the revenue model of the news media industry, how the internet has changed the profitability of news media and changes that might be made to help struggling media outlets to become more profitable.
The document introduces the concept of a “hot news doctrine”, which in essence is an extension of the Copyright Act that would “provide express statutory federal protection of short duration and limited scope to the facts reported in news articles.” The net/net of it is that the hot news doctrine would suggest that when a story breaks, the facts in the story be considered copyrighted for a specified amount of time. In essence, it would set a time stamp on exclusivity for breaking news, so that the media property that breaks a news story would be the only property that could share ANY information on this news story for a... Read more
As the FTC and IAB iterate over consumer privacy legislation, and the industry concern continues to swell, we are recognizing that the basis of the issue lies in general misperceptions and lack of consumer education around targeted advertising. As an industry we have acknowledged this fact, yet educating consumers and industry outsiders remains a challenge. AudienceScience, along with many other companies, are collaborating with the NAI on consumer outreach. It's no small task and it's easy to understand why many companies just don't know where to start, how best to communicate the message, or how to distribute the message to the consumers we aim to protect.
It is a critical time in our industry and responsible companies must take action. First and foremost, companies must examine the resources they have available to communicate and educate. If you have research at your disposal, use it in your message. If you have graphics and creative, leverage it to create something both compelling and easy to understand. I'll say it again because it bears repeating. Make it easy to understand. Consider your audience and don't use jargon or reference stats that are not mainstream measurements. If it looks like Sanskrit and needs translation, your... Read more