If you had the pleasure of attending this year's ERA Government Affairs Fly-In, then you are well aware that federal regulators aren't the only ones paying close attention to the direct response industry. Recently, DR marketing practices have come under scrutiny by State Attorneys General, making self-regulation even more critical today.
So, what makes a good self-regulation program? According to the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP), there are several hallmarks to a successful self-regulatory framework, but four characteristics are absolutely critical.
1. A meaningful standard review.
In the case of ERSP, the standard is ensuring that advertising claims are communicated truthfully and accurately and that the advertiser has a reasonable basis for the claims before the advertisement is disseminated.
2. It is independently administered by an outside, credible third party.
ERSP is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. (CBBB), a non-profit organization that has been advancing consumer trust in the marketplace for more than 100 years.
3. Transparency.Every case that goes through the self-regulatory process is publically reported. The ASRC Online Archive contains more than 5,000 case decisions since 1971 and includes NAD, CARU, and ERSP cases.
4. Accountability.The self-regulatory forum would not be effective if companies that do not participate in good faith are not held accountable. If a company does not comply with the self-regulatory recommendations or fails to participate, the case is referred to an appropriate government agency.
Using this general self-regulatory framework as a guideline, ERSP was created in 2004. More than 10 years later, ERSP continues to provide the direct response industry with effective and efficient advertising self-regulation.
What’s more, ERA and ERSP have recently released a helpful eBook entitled A Direct Response Marketer’s Guide to Self-Regulation that serves as a primer for those interested in learning more about the self-regulation process.
Download your free eBook today by clicking below!
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