Ad Industry Gets Call To Action It Deserves?

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 13 december 2006

Policymakers in Australia, Brazil and the US are making moves to ban some types of urban spam.

The Washington Post talks about moves by the FTC to crack down on WOM:

The Federal Trade Commission yesterday said that companies engaging in word-of-mouth marketing, in which people are compensated to promote products to their peers, must disclose those relationships…

As the practice has taken hold over the past several years, however, some advocacy groups have questioned whether marketers are using such tactics to dupe consumers into believing they are getting unbiased information.

The NY Times reports on the removal of outdoor advertising in Sao Paulo:

Imagine a modern metropolis with no outdoor advertising: no billboards, no flashing neon signs, no electronic panels with messages crawling along the bottom. Come the new year, this city of 11 million, overwhelmed by what the authorities call visual pollution, plans to press the “delete all” button and offer its residents an unimpeded view of their surroundings…

The outsized billboards and screens that dominate the skyline, promoting everything from autos, jeans and cellphones to banks and sex shops, will have to come down, as will all other forms of publicity in public space, like distribution of fliers.

The law also regulates the dimensions of store signs and outlaws any advertising on the sides of the city’s thousands of buses and taxis. The law as passed also applied to advertising banners trailing airplanes and ads on blimps.

The Houston Chronicle reports on Australia’s attempts to ban ambush marketing:

Queensland state government announced its intention to ban ambush marketing _ attempts by non-sponsor companies to get logos and brand names on TV for free advertising.

Premier Steve Bracks said the legislation would not come before the state parliament before the new year but Holden would be asked to respect its intent in the meantime.

“The spirit of bringing that in (is) to prevent ambush marketing, that is those people who aren’t sponsoring large events but want to get the benefit of that without the contribution made,” Bracks said.

Whether this legistation will pass, we’ll wait to see but it’s definitely a sign that it’s not the odd blogger who is complaining about the advertising industry these days. Maybe the ad industry will sit up and notice and start to regulate itself – but we doubt it: here’s the latest crap they dump on us.

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