We’re headed down a brand-new path for our industry – and an especially exciting one. After nearly 20 years in online marketing without an industry advocacy and standards organization, I’m thrilled by the recent formation of the LeadsCouncil.
In effect, the LeadsCouncil symbol will be a seal of approval to help advertisers distinguish the industry leaders, from those other who are less concerned about upholding ethical values and compliance.
It’s a fascinating time to be involved in Digital Marketing.
I’m honored to have been asked to join as both a plank holder and participate on the Board of Directors to help create the policies and standards we hope to apply to all of the current and future members of LeadsCouncil. Our goal is to promote ethical policies and practices, protect consumer rights, advise and lobby the Federal regulatory agencies that police our industry, and develop a set of standards all LeadsCouncil members must adhere to for the benefit of our advertisers and our industry.
I liken it to the perception of the Better Business Bureau. It’s frankly nice to see our industry maturing!
I have always felt that it was important to be proactive in fighting for our rights. Sadly, so many in our industry would rather hide their head in the sand than participate in helping Federal Regulators form policy regarding marketing practices. As an industry, we must take steps to police the “bad actors” and protect the rights of consumers, or someone outside our industry will take steps to do it for us.
Just take the CAN-SPAM act of 2003. Although well intentioned to regulate “spam” by mandating transparency, disclosure, accuracy, and the ability to opt out, CAN-SPAM ultimately provided ISP’s a roadmap on how to filter and “black-hole” legitimate advertising messages. Had we as an industry participated in the formulation of CAN-SPAM, it would have been nice to push for a provision that a properly configured, CAN-SPAM-compliant email should require the ISP’s to deliver such a message to the recipient. The actual implementation of this in practice forces many people to game the ISP’s filters to get their legitimate messages delivered. This was never the intent of this regulation, but our government is infamous for the unintended consequences of regulating industries they know little about.
It’s time for all of us to stand up and proudly demand that the Digital Marketing industry not only adhere to certain standards to protect both consumers and advertisers, but ultimately serve to protect our industry. I hope this initiative is something that you as a marketer or an advertiser will join for the betterment of all who participate.