Marketing & advertising

Self-regulation dream team converge at consumer savvy marketing seminar in NY

  • 28 June 2012
ICC Internet governance

An engaging roster of top consumer protection and advertising self-regulation experts from the United States and around the world made the line-up of speakers at an ICC seminar on Consumer Savvy Marketing held in New York City on 7 June.

This seminar, hosted by the ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising, provided the opportunity for companies and legal experts to stay up to date with the dramatically changing landscape of marketing campaigns and to better understand how rules apply to technological and practice developments.

Participants enjoyed a dynamic and informative keynote presentation on the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) activities and new projects by Lesley Fair, Senior Attorney of FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau. Ms Fair shared examples of recent US advertising cases to illustrate how the FTC enforcement serves as a unique backstop to industry self-regulation efforts discussed later in the event. She discussed the FTC’s recently released privacy report and advised that companies with the most success in this area pursue a privacy-by-design approach to their business activities. Ms Fair offered examples of cases in new media, explained the testimonials and endorsement guides in practice and gave an update on the review of the FTC green guides.

When asked how the FTC’s handles compliance when a company has campaigns overseas or with international cases, she noted that the FTC has worked with other consumer protection bodies in a cooperative fashion. She was also called on to share US experiences with developing economies and notes that the US boasts over a 90% compliance rate for self-regulation.

The seminar also included three discussion panels, addressing: Social Media Pitfalls and Best Practices, Privacy, Marketing and Self-Regulation and Mobile Marketing and Applications: Developments to Watch.

Discussing social media, Winston & Strawn partner Liisa Thomas and Microsoft Attorney Stephanie Kornblum talked through case examples and offered guidance on applying existing rules to emerging practice. Experts from AT&T and Google shared their companies’ perspectives on policy and marketplace trends on mobile marketing. The audience was both amused and impressed seeing a photo of the original mobile phone illustrating how far things have developed in such a short amount of time.

The privacy and self-regulation panel featured the greatly appreciated trailblazers on self-regulation for Online Behavioural Advertising. News Corporation’s Ellen Agress explained the importance for global companies of effective and credible self-regulation with consistency across borders and noted how the new ICC Code provides a global framework of principles for local application to serve that need. The audience then heard from the experts best placed to explain how the US, EU and Canadian industry programmes have been set up, the issues they face and how they are developing to ensure they meet consumer, regulator and industry needs for compliance and accountability.

The event was concluded with an update on the experiences of the US self-regulatory bodies, moderated by Keller & Heckman partner and ICC Marketing Commission Vice-Chair Sheila Millar. Speakers from the National Advertising Division (NAD) and the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) shared case examples and updated on new developments while Susan Fox of The Walt Disney Company added thoughts on the direction of self-regulation and their company decision not to advertise unhealthy foods on select child directed Disney properties.

Speakers and moderators included:

  • Lesley Fair, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission
  • Genie Barton, VP and Director, Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program and Mobile Marketing Initiatives, Better Business Bureaus (BBB)
  • Angela Mills Wade, Executive Director of the European Publishers Council and Vice Chairman of the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA)
  • Linda Nagel, President and CEO Advertising Standards Canada and Chair of the International Council of EASA
  • Ellen S. Agress, Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel & Chief Privacy Officer, News Corporation
  • Ted Lazarus, Senior Counsel, Google Inc.
  • Jeff Brueggeman, Vice President Public Policy & Deputy Chief Privacy Officer, AT&T
  • Liisa M. Thomas, Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP
  • Rebecca Griffith, Staff Attorney, National Advertising Division of BBB
  • Wayne J. Keeley, Director, Children’s Advertising Review Unit of BBB
  • Susan L. Fox, Vice President, Government Relations, The Walt Disney Company
  • Sheila Millar, Partner, Keller & Heckman LLP and Vice Chair, ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising
  • Stephanie Kornblum, Attorney, Microsoft Corporation

“The seminar provided us with an important opportunity to bring together a dream team from the community of organizations and experts and to showcase the valuable work being done to make self-regulation work,” said ICC Marketing Commission Chair and Microsoft Corporation Associate General Counsel Brent Sanders. “It is definitely an exercise the commission would like to repeat and expand upon next year and beyond.”

ICC has been a major rule-setter in international advertising self-regulation since 1937, when the ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising issued the first ICC Code on Advertising Practice – one of the most successful examples of business self-regulation ever developed. The revised Consolidated ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice was launched in 2011 along with, a one-stop resource for industry, regulators and academics on self-regulation and advertising.

Download a copy of the Consolidated ICC Code Building consumer trust through best practice marketing