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Juul Labs, the maker of the most popular U.S. e-cigarette, announced earlier this month that it would be shutting down its Facebook and Instagram accounts (arguably two of the best ways to promote consumer brands to the masses) to stop advertising to teens.
Seems like everyday now, we hear about another big retailer declaring bankruptcy or closing down a large percentage of their brick and mortar locations, transferring that capital to the online strategy. Some are calling it the retail apocalypse…Radio Shack, Payless Shoes, Kmart, Michael Kors. JC Penney…and so many more – in 2017 alone, more than 6000 stores have been closed.
Running an organization comes with many exciting and challenging phases. While there are many processes to put in place as new levels of growth are reached, learning how to keep records of your online properties is crucial early on in the game. As experts in website and social media archiving, we thought we’d share 5 essential record-keeping tips, easily applicable to any industry.
What is the MAP? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s rule, The Mortgage Acts and Practices — Advertising Final Rule (or MAP rule) prohibits misrepresentations in any commercial communication regarding mortgage credit. It is also known as “Regulation N” after the rule making authority transferred from the FTC to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
FTC 101 The Federal Trade Commission aims to prevent business practices that are anticompetitive, deceptive or unfair to consumers and its regulations affect businesses trading in every industry. One of its most sweeping regulations is Section 5 of the Federal Trade Act, which addresses appropriate commercial speech to help put an end to deceptive advertising. The FTC has evolved its rules under the act to apply to the ever-evolving world of online advertising. What many companies, review sites, bloggers, and celebrities don’t realize is that if they share content with commercial messages that convey personal enjoyment of a product/service with followers and get compensated for it, their actions are considered endorsements. These endorsements require clear disclosures of the relationship with the product/service provider. To provide guidance on complying with these rules, The FTC released the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising to serve as a framework for complying with the relevant FTC regulations. Here is an overview of some expectations: Endorsements apply to social media and new technology as it evolves. For Twitter, with a 140 character count limit, the use of hashtags #ad #paidad can be sufficient. Disclosures for videos are not sufficient in the video descriptions or only at the beginning of the video. Disclosures must be displayed throughout the video for all to see at any point they tune in. Social media contests that require entrants to tweet or share for a chance to win must incorporate disclosures as part of the contest share messaging and contest terms. Free products given to customers for online reviews (positive or negative) are considered endorsements. This should be mentioned on review pages. Consequences of Non-Compliance While these guides are not considered formal regulations, the FTC has warned that it will be leading investigations and taking immediate action for practices that fall outside of the guidelines in a way that violates the rules in the Federal Trade Act. Penalties for non-compliance can range from a written warning letter to a fine of $11,000 per incident. In other cases, these fines have been much higher; as in the case of Legacy Learning Systems, a popular provider of guitar-lesson DVDs, charged with $250,000 for advertising products through paid online affiliate marketers, and having them falsely pose as objective customers. Machinima also settled similar charges with the FTC for paying YouTube video creators up to $30,000 for their video reviews without disclosing so.