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article imageOp-Ed: Regulators Threaten Marketers at CMA, But Marketing is Changing Special

By Dan Verhaeghe     May 31, 2011 in Technology
Despite Arianna Huffington dazzling the audience to open the CMA National Convention Thursday Morning, that would only be one of several highlights of the two-day conference last Thursday and Friday at The Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.
You can catch more on Huffington here as The Huffington Post launched in Canada..
Perhaps the most stunning news at the convention came from “The End of Innocence” by Ken Wong, Commerce ’77 Teaching Fellow in Marketing at Queen’s School of Business.
FTC Looks to Put Severe Restrictions In Place Against Child Advertising
The Federal Trade Commission recently tabled a report that drastically suggests all forms of marketing and advertising be banned to children under the age of 13, and severe restrictions put in place towards teenagers under the age of 18 by 2016.
The report stems from the obesity epidemic, which is nowhere more pronounced than in the United States, where the FTC intends to crack down on food marketing practices first and foremost.
There have been an increasing number of marketing and advertising restrictions in recent years as regulators try to clean up the marketing message and the potential impact these messages have on society as a whole.
The FTC goes as far to suggest that marketing and advertising could be banned outright to all ages in some industries, in the most drastic of possibilities.
Spike Jones Keynote
Spike Jones, SVP of Fleishman-Hilliard on the state of marketing and advertising in his opening keynote on Day 2 of the CMA National Convention: “If you talk to people the way advertisers talk to people, they’d punch you in the face”.
Later on, Gunther Sonnenfield, the co-founder of ThinkState emphasized in a presentation that while content is important, that content must be contextualized and told through storytelling when marketing to your target market, such as IBM’s 100 years of innovation video.
While that’s one of many ways marketers can clean up their “message”, the intersection of marketing and technology is also here.
Spike Jones near the end of his keynote implied that offline and online were a continuous cycle, that you must drive people that are offline online, while driving people online offline.
He also said that 93% of word-of-mouth marketing occurs offline, and that social media was just another avenue for it.
Social Media Changing
We’ve seen that social media is becoming more intelligent- Twitter suggests people to follow based on our tweets and conversations while Facebook tries to make advertising more relevant based on your likes, interests and mutual connections.
It was said at Canada 3.0 by LinkedIn’s Soniya Monga in a keynote that the next web will have the capacity to improve people’s lives- LinkedIn wants you to get to know your 2nd degree connections- these are the people and organizations you should/may want to get to know.
While Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter continue to steer the world to a better place, we’re now seeing the intersection of marketing and technology in social media.
The Future of Marketing
Marketing will always survive, and we will always use some forms of research to understand a customer base, but with the explosion of various forms of new media, it is becoming impossible to censor the media message.
If Iran can’t completely censor the media, nor can the government censor marketers.
That is why in some cases currently the engagement from an advertiser to a consumer must be optional- this is being regulated in new forms of media through do-not-track tabled legislation in the United States.
That is why discrete consumerism was named the number one trend by Toronto’s Trendhunter for 2011.
Through the use of digital barcodes and QR Codes- where we choose to scan using our smartphones and tablets if we’d like more information or be subjected to an interactive 3D experience.
Increasing New Media a Good Thing For Marketing
The beauty of the increasing number of new media is that marketing now has a chance to become relevant as media continues to create more niches, locally and directly.
The possibility of a two-way street in the coming years, either technology and the next web brings you there through social media or optional engagement, or an advertiser finds you through the various forms of media you dabble in.
There are advertising standards councils that regulate the message and fine organizations if they are too far off track.
As the Chief Marketing Officer of Kodak, Jeffery Hayzlett, also the author of The Mirror Test said: “By reaching hearts and minds rather than eyeballs and ears”.
Marketing through storytelling to inspire people to be bold and brilliant, and go places they’ve never been before.
The marketers and companies that realize the latter are the ones that should do well, at least for now.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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