A Review of 2014 ERSP Achievements

by Leanne Gabinelli on Jan 5, 2015 8:00:00 PM ERSP

A_Review_of_2014_ERSP_Achievements-297059-edited2014 was quite a busy year for the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP). Following are some of the highlights. As of December 1, 2014, ERSP closed 21 cases, and has an additional 9 cases pending. In total, ERSP has closed 339 cases since 2004. Cases this year have covered a variety of products such as dietary supplements, lead generation, and medical devices.

ERSP has received more competitive challenges this year than any other year since its inception. As of December 1st, ERSP has opened 13 challenge cases; 11 of the challengers chose to remain anonymous. This represents a large increase; by comparison, ERSP received 7 challenges in 2013.

ERSP Review Program

The ERSP Review Program now conducts advertising assessments for 6 participants, covering a total of 7 telemarketing and live seminar programs. ERSP staff has met with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) several times this year to facilitate understanding of the Review Program. ERSP Director Peter Marinello also met with industry representatives in Utah earlier this year to encourage additional participation; ERSP is currently fielding interest from several companies.

ERSP Copy Review

In an effort to continue to introduce new offerings to the direct response industry, ERSP unveiled its new Copy Review service in 2014. This service offers marketers the opportunity to have ERSP, a third-party self-regulatory organization, review print, broadcast, radio, and online advertising. In a Copy Review, ERSP will review primary and core advertising claims, highlighting potential self-regulatory issues; provide general, non-binding recommendations limited only to the specific advertising that is reviewed; and suggest what level of substantiation may be needed based upon the claims presented. These reviews will also include follow-up dialogue with ERSP staff. The Copy Review Service is confidential, voluntary, non-evidentiary, and non-binding. ERSP is looking forward to growing this service in 2015.


In conjunction with ERA’s Government Affairs Fly-In, ERSP held its 10-year Anniversary seminar and cocktail reception on May 20. The event included three panels, covering topics such as the development of ERSP and the future of self-regulation. The event was well attended, and ERSP received excellent feedback from attendees. Because of the success of last year’s event, ERSP is planning to host a similar seminar in 2015 as part of the ERA’s Government Affairs Fly-In.

ERSP staff presented at several conferences this year, including the Food and Drug Law Institute’s Advertising and Promotion Conference, ERA D2C Convention, the ERA Great Ideas Summit, and Social Media Week NYC.

I also presented to several undergraduate classes of universities such as Fordham University, Rider University, and The University of Alabama. These discussions, part of an Ethics in Advertising series sponsored by the Advertising Education Foundation, covered the background and function of advertising self-regulation.


To keep the industry up to date on the latest developments in self-regulation, ERSP contributes a monthly post to the ERA blog and will continue to do so.

Image courtesy of hywards, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Leanne Gabinelli is an attorney with the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council.

Leanne Gabinelli's blog
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The statements, opinions, and advertisements expressed on the ERA Blog and other online entities owned by the Electronic Retailing Association are those of individual authors and companies and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Electronic Retailing Association.