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.
In addition to the expansion of ERSP’s telemarketing review and lead generation monitoring, we are also preparing to offer other services that we hope will be of interest to ERA members. When attending ERA conferences and other networking events, we are often approached by industry members inquiring how they can support the self-regulatory process and asking if ERSP would be amenable to looking at a direct response campaign they are contemplating, or if it could help identify “red flag” issues that may not be readily apparent to them.
In response to this request (and with the help of Bill and his team), ERSP has begun developing additional self-regulatory services that we believe will be greatly beneficial to industry members and provide several options for them to support our forum. The goal is two-fold: to bring greater value to what ERA members already have, and to offer new and exciting ideas that will address future challenges in the marketplace.
We hope to unveil these services sometime in the near future and will be anxious to hear member feedback. Feel free to contact either the ERSP staff or Bill McClellan at [email protected] at ERA for additional information.