Peter Marinello

Peter Marinello is the director of ERSP and vice president of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

Recent Posts

The Importance of Being Kevin

by Peter Marinello on Jul 15, 2016 12:00:00 AM ERSP, Advocacy, DRTV

“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”―Oscar Wilde

The date was Feb. 11, 2003. It was colder than usual in New York City that winter morning when FTC Chairman Tim Muris stepped to the podium to address the Cable Television Advertising Bureau. Unbeknownst to those in the audience, things were about to get much chillier. Chairman Muris called everyone’s attention to the screen over his right-hand shoulder and proceeded to show an excerpt from an infomercial for “The Enforma System.” The segment featured a succession of delicious, mouth-watering foods like eggs, bacon, sausage, French-fried potatoes, fried onion rings, hamburgers, and lasagna; thin models in bathing suits and claims like, “You can eat anything you want and never, ever, ever have to diet again.

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ERSP Summit Agenda Revealed

by Peter Marinello on May 3, 2016 12:00:00 AM ERSP, Advocacy, Self Regulation, DRTV

ERSP is excited to announce its complete agenda for this year’s ERSP Summit event on May 24. At this year’s event, “Self-Regulation in The Changing World of Direct Response Advertising,” legal professionals and industry leaders will discuss trends in direct response advertising. During the half-day workshop, topics will include: regulatory focus on the lead generation and payment processing industries; recent developments at the FTC; and how emerging advertising platforms have created new challenges for the direct response industry.

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ERSP Summit 2016 Set for May 24 in Washington, D.C.

by Peter Marinello on Mar 23, 2016 12:00:00 AM ERSP, Advocacy

On Tuesday, March 15, ERSP Advertising Review Specialist, Jessica Grodzki co-presented with Gayla Huber from IntegriShield at LeadsCon in Las Vegas. Self-regulation in the lead generation space has been a very topical issue for both advertisers and regulators and Jessica focused her discussion, in part, to dispel the common misconception that companies are not responsible for advertising done by third parties. Aside from obvious compliance risks, the “free” advertising marketers are receiving from third parties from unauthorized lead forms are costing them tens of thousands in missed revenue annually.

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ERSP Meets with State Attorneys General

by Peter Marinello on Jun 22, 2015 5:30:00 PM Advocacy

On June 5, Bill Knowlton of Invictus Law and I gave a 20-minute presentation about the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) and advertising self-regulation at the Republican Association of Attorneys General’s (RAGA) ERC Meeting in Martha’s Vineyard.
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ERSP: Help Wanted? Help Offered.

by Peter Marinello on Feb 10, 2015 3:00:00 AM ERSP, Advocacy

“The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.”—William Bernbach, cofounder, Doyle Dane Bernbach

Since the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) was founded more than 10 years ago, one of the key objectives of the program has been to provide the direct response industry with a mechanism of self-regulation that addresses the ongoing needs of the industry.
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New: ERSP Copy Review

by Peter Marinello on Sep 8, 2014 3:53:00 PM ERSP, Advocacy, Self Regulation

Marketers looking to avoid expensive mistakes and reprimands or even those looking for a second opinion on the messages that its advertising may be communicating to consumers and the type of evidence they should be considering to support those messages can now avail themselves the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program’s new product offering, the ERSP Copy Review.

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ERSP Year in Review

by Peter Marinello on Dec 12, 2013 3:58:00 PM ERSP, Advocacy

2013 has been an exciting and productive year for ERSP. In addition to its ongoing monitoring program of direct response advertising, ERSP continued to work on and expand its Telemarketing Review Program. 

In February, ERSP conducted an informational webinar about the program. ERSP staff have also spoken at numerous industry events, including ERA Great Ideas Summit in Miami, ERA European Conference in Rome, the Government Affairs Fly-In in Washington, D.C., ERA D2C Convention in Las Vegas, and at the ERSP Summit in New York City.

Over the past 12 months, through both competitor challenges and its own monitoring program, ERSP has reviewed a variety of different product types, ranging from dietary supplements to OTC medical devices. ERSP continues to monitor and review wealth creation products, which has been a hot button issue for the FTC. 

In 2014, ERSP hopes to continue to expand its offerings to direct response marketers, and provide ongoing guidance to its Telemarketing Participants. We will also be celebrating ERSP’s 10-year anniversary with a conference that will bring together industry professionals. 

Thank you for your support of self-regulation and Happy New Year!

Peter Marinello is director of ERSP and vice president of the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

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ERSP Focuses on Telemarketing Sales Calls

by Peter Marinello on Oct 31, 2013 4:03:00 PM ERSP, Advocacy


In the course of its Telemarketing Review Program, ERSP routinely monitors telemarketing sales calls and scripts of participating companies, and keeps an ear out for hot-button issues such as earnings claims, sales pressure, selective and/or qualified enrollment, and other FTC red flags, such as failure to notify the customer that the call is being recorded and/or monitored, and whether a sales representative properly identifies his or herself and their respective company. 

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ERSP Summit Explores Direct Response Trends

by Peter Marinello on Oct 2, 2013 4:05:00 PM ERSP, Advocacy

Today, ERSP hosts its second-annual ERSP Summit at the Ritz Carleton New York, Battery Park. At the event, titled “Emerging Issues in Direct-Response Advertising,” industry professionals will focus on the prevailing trends in the direct response industry, including the recent regulatory scrutiny of telemarketing practices and lead generation advertising. At the half-day workshop, panel members will highlight key issues from the past year and discuss ERSP’s latest self-regulatory endeavors.

The Summit will come on the heels of the annual two-day NAD Conference. At the NAD Conference, speakers will examine legal trends and address key issues in advertising claim substantiation, use of survey evidence, digital disclosures, advertising in social media, FTC Enforcement priorities and much more. The conference will provide attendees with practical guidance to enhance their use of the advertising industry's self-regulatory forum.

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ERSP Summit Focuses on Emerging Issues in Direct Response

by Peter Marinello on Aug 29, 2013 4:08:00 PM ERSP, Advocacy

Each year, the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council hosts a three-day conference to discuss issues pertaining to national advertising from the regulatory and self-regulatory perspective. Last year, theElectronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) joined with a half-day conference of its own, the ERSP Summit.

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ERSP Plans to Expand Its Service Offerings

by Peter Marinello on Jul 31, 2013 4:10:00 PM ERSP, Advocacy

One of the important hallmarks of a successful system of advertising self-regulation is to be responsive to the needs of the industry and work with its responsible members to provide useful products and services. Since its inception in 2004, ERSP has had the good fortune to avail itself of the expertise of ERA’s Vice President of Government Affairs Bill McClellan, who has been an invaluable resource to not only our forum of advertising self-regulation, but also to the many other complicated facets of this evolving world of direct response advertising and electronic retailing. 

About two years ago, with Bill’s assistance, ERSP implemented a self-regulatory mechanism specifically tailored to address ongoing issues regarding telemarketing practices in the coaching and mentoring industry. The program, which also monitors lead generation advertising, began with two member companies and, after some positive feedback from both state and federal regulatory agencies, has now begun welcoming new participants. One idea that has been ruminating is to expand this telemarketing review program beyond the coaching and mentoring industry to include other interested members of ERA in an effort to provide ongoing guidance regarding the truthfulness and accuracy of telemarketing representations that are being disseminated to consumers. Of course, as always, ERSP administers such an endeavor while always keeping in mind the fundamental principles that bring the necessary credibility to our efforts—transparency and a demonstrated commitment to advertising self-regulation.

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ERSP Offers Self-Regulatory Insight to Electronic HomeShopping Conference Attendees

by Peter Marinello on Jun 27, 2013 4:11:00 PM ERSP, Advocacy

Home shopping traces its origins back to the late 1970s, with the sale of can openers on a radio talk show. The can openers sold out, and before consumers knew it, the first shopping television channel was born. Since then, networks such as Home Shopping Network (HSN), QVC, and Jewelry Television have enabled consumers to shop for goods from the privacy of their own homes, instead of traveling to a brick-and-mortar store. In fact, online shopping as we know it is simply an evolution of home shopping.

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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.