This week, leading lawyers, regulators and marketers attended the 37th Annual Brand Activation Association (BAA) Marketing Law Conference in Chicago. At BAA I gave a presentation on how disruption is permeating advertising, media, and marketing today. Over the next few days, I will share with you three video clips from my presentation. Let’s dive into
In the futuristic world of Minority Report, Tom Cruise’s character walks into a Gap clothing store; his eyes are scanned and a 3D hologram of a saleswoman welcomes him by name and inquires about his satisfaction with his previous Gap purchases. The movie is set in 2054, but this scene may not be too different from the world we live in today.
Those objecting may not realize that location-based targeting has been around for some time. For example, GPS-based apps can determine whether you are in a particular store and immediately offer products and deals available at that retailer through your mobile device. While this practice may have turned some consumers off initially, it is increasingly an accepted practice. One notable difference, however, between app-based targeting and brick-and-mortar tracking is that those who download these theoretically apps expect location-based tracking, whereas those who walk into a store likely do not expect to be monitored and targeted.
The Way I See It
- I see that, after a period of time, we will increasingly adjust to the use of these technologies by brick-and-mortar retailers and become desensitized to this tracking, as we did with e-commerce sites tracking us online.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released updated Dot Com Disclosure guidelines to fast forward to the present day and catch up with the technology consumers use more and more frequently – including smartphones, tablets, and social media. I previously gave you an overview of what the updated guidance means and how marketers need to approach the new FTC standards, and you’ve read “The Way I See It” on the updated guidelines.
I wanted to turn to an industry expert to discuss what the new FTC Dot Com Disclosure guidelines mean for advertising on various key platforms and what could be next for mobile and tech.
The Way the Industry Sees It:
I sat down with Jerry Karnick, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Verizon Wireless, to get his thoughts.
We all seem to agree that the updated guidance was a necessity, but do you think the Dot Com Disclosures will help grow advertising potential on mobile and online platforms?
I do. Advertising through online and mobile platforms is here to stay, and the new Dot Com Disclosures recognize and embrace that reality. Of equal importance, the new Dot Com Disclosures also provide advertisers with added clarity on what is required, while continuing to allow advertisers the necessary flexibility to meet those obligations. With the guidance provided by the new Dot Com Disclosures, more and more reputable advertisers will have increased comfort advertising on these platforms, especially on the small screens available in the mobile arena. At the same time those advertisers won’t have to worry that their ads, which include the disclosures necessary to ensure the ad is neither false or misleading, will be less appealing than the ads of other online or mobile advertisers that may not have otherwise included the necessary disclosures, either at all or in proximity to the main advertising message.
With smartphones and tablets, the majority of issues presented by the old Dot Com Disclosures were how to present disclosures in the new space constraints. For the mobile industry, does the new guidance meet these concerns and are there any significant new issues that are raised?
The new Dot Com Disclosures provide the necessary clarity about whether and how the traditional advertising rules will apply in the mobile space. What they don’t do – nor, of course, could they – is increase the size of the screen. The industry will continue to wrestle with space constraints. But, now that there is clarity on what is required, it will be up to all of us to find new and creative ways to design ads in ways to ensure the necessary information is communicated effectively and the overall message conveyed to consumers is not misleading.