An Adotas.com Q&A with Albert Luk, VP of Operations and General Counsel of Jumbleberry, on the top regulatory trends that will shape the ever-changing advertising and marketing industries.
A: Affiliate marketers should expect to be immersed in a new regulatory world. The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) quietly released its Native Advertising Guidelines just before Christmas. If history is any indication, we fully expect an affiliate will be made an example of for not following the new guidelines sometime in the next 4-6 months. For affiliates promoting goods and services by native advertising, your new regulatory world is here.
Q: What kind of effect will asking for “likes”, endorsements and testimonials have?
A: Don’t be like Kim Kardashian. Mrs. Kanye West got into hot water in August for promoting a pregnancy drug without disclosing she was probably being paid to endorse the product. FTC’s first enforcement case of 2016 deal in part with- surprise, surprise- Lumosity not disclosing it paid for some consumer testimonials. In an age of social media influencers, it is key to disclose whether likes, endorsements or testimonials were paid for or not. Companies and individuals alike lose credibility and trust when these facts come to light.
Q: How closely will regulators monitor the use of consumer data?
A: They’ll be quick to the punch. FTC recently reminded people, including online merchants, to use data in a way that would not mislead consumers. In plain English, merchants should ensure their privacy policies are consistent with how they actually use their consumer data. Advertisers who share their data with third parties for audience profiling/digital advertising targeting should pay particular attention.
Q: Where will mobile campaigns fall on the regulatory priority list?
A: High. Regulators in the USA, Canada, UK and EU have all announced that mobile is a priority. As the median is (relatively) new to regulators, everything is being questioned from clear and conspicuous disclosures to cross-device tracking to mobile cramming.