Yesterday, the world of PR was awakened with the very loud thud of an 80-page document from the Federal Trade Commission laying out the new rules for engagement and endorsements. The ruling, or “guides” haven’t been updated since before the Reagan administration and immediately drew criticism from some saying the FTC may have rushed their attempt to grapple new media, or worse, may deter future celeb or word of mouth opportunities.
Transparency. Let’s face it. Most feel it’s good idea and frankly, the way the industry is headed.
Education by Force. Inexperienced and/or lazy marketers who before rudely populated comments sections with endorsements will be forced to learn the rules and may actually bring us back some credibility as an industry.
Too many unknowns. Lenient, schmenient. At the end of the day we’ll all need lawyers if we spill a drop. Is the FTC prepared for the heaps of questions, paperwork and addendums?
Fear. Nobody wants to be the guinea pig. This may cripple organizations just coming into social media or those sitting on years of successful campaigns but an archaic legal department.
Geography. FTC is great for the States, but are other countries supposed to follow-suit? How does it work if a UK blogger writes about a major cell phone manufacturer and an American gets the wrong impression? Will it all come down to an IP address?
Relevance. Remember the moment you felt old for the first time? Trying to slap rules on social media is like trying to use slang with your teenage cousin. You’re undoubtedly 6-months too late and he’ll never let you live it down.
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