As mentioned in my previous two posts (found here and here), I gave a presentation at the 40th Annual Association of National Advertisers/Brand Activation Association Marketing Law Conference titled “The Pursuit of ‘Truth’ in Advertising.” It explored how consumers view the truth in this era of fake news and alternative facts, and how this changing understanding of the truth has affected the advertising ecosystem and the practice of advertising law. Today, I will share the third installment in my series of highlights from my presentation.

Who am I?

Who are you?

In the data driven world, who I am and who you are really depends on who wants to know. Each advertiser is interested in a different story about … Continue Reading

As mentioned in my previous blog post, I gave a presentation at the 40th Annual Association of National Advertisers/Brand Activation Association Marketing Law Conference titled “The Pursuit of ‘Truth’ in Advertising.” It explored how consumers view the truth in this era of fake news and alternative facts, and how this changing understanding of the truth has affected the advertising ecosystem and the practice of advertising law. Today, I will share the second installment in my series of highlights from my presentation.

There is one bedrock principle that has always defined advertising regulation: advertising and marketing must be truthful, non-misleading and non-deceptive. That’s the common thread tying together all consumer protection principles. But today, it’s much more complicated.

When the … Continue Reading

It was another successful year in Chicago at the 40th Annual Association of National Advertisers/Brand Activation Association Marketing Law Conference. During Friday’s general session, I gave a presentation titled “The Pursuit of ‘Truth’ in Advertising,” taking a look at how consumers view the truth in this era of fake news and alternative facts, and how this changing understanding of the truth has affected the advertising ecosystem and the practice of advertising law. In the next series of posts, I will share some highlights from my presentation. Let’s dive into the first one…

Consumers are putting more of their trust in online “influencers” over other sources of reliable facts. In conjunction, social media has quickly evolved to a media not … Continue Reading

Donald Trump came to the White House with the lowest approval rating ever for an incoming president. From a branding perspective, things have not been getting better. On the 144th day of his presidency, Trump hit a 60% disapproval rating, giving him the dubious distinction of being the fastest to ever reach that mark (beating George H.W. Bush, who took 1,290 days to get there).

The result may be surprising to those who remember Trump as a master at cultivating his brand in business and entertainment, and perhaps expected that to translate to politics. There are just two problems with that reading of history.

First, while Trump demonstrated a certain genius for creating his brand as a businessman, it isn’t … Continue Reading

My colleague and friend, Andrea Levine, has been the Director of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council’s National Advertising Division (NAD) and Senior Vice President of the Council of Better Business Bureaus for the past 20 years. It’s quite a title, and tenure, and as she prepares to move on to her next challenge, I asked her to share some of her experiences and wisdom.

Twenty years ago, I appeared at NAD’s offices armed with 7 years’ experience in the NYC court system defending poor people from the consequences of “trickle down” economics, a decade on the front lines of multi-state consumer protection advocacy as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York, and a stint as Special Counsel for … Continue Reading

Developing — and keeping — trust has never been more important for advertisers. With consumers being bombarded by a dizzying variety of messages and choices, trustworthiness has emerged as an important differentiator between brands.

In other words, as Richard Eyre, CBE, chairman of the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK) would put it, trust is now a key disruptor for advertising. At the 2014 IAB Engage conference, Eyre told advertisers that trust is their most important tool for relating to customers. The main job for today’s brands and agencies, he said, is to secure trust — and hold onto it.

As for what kinds of advertising consumers trust, online seems to be winning out over more traditional formats, though … Continue Reading

Just over a year ago, three of the leading advertising trade organizations – IAB, ANA, and 4A’s – formed the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) to address several critical challenges affecting digital advertising, including fraud, piracy, malware, and lack of transparency. These issues not only cost the U.S. digital advertising ecosystem an estimated $8.2 billion annually, but also erode consumer confidence in advertisers generally – and the brands they represent.

TAG has grown exponentially since its inception, attracting cross-industry participation and support from the world’s largest advertisers, agencies, publishers, and ad-tech companies. Its board of directors includes executives from Facebook, Google, IPG Mediabrands, JCPenney, McDonald’s, Mondelez, Motorola, NBCUniversal, Omnicom, P&G, Publicis, Unilever, and WPP.

All of TAG’s programs drive collective accountability … Continue Reading