Enhancing Customer Engagement through Brand Ambassadors

by Steve Wachs on Mar 28, 2018 3:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, Brand Marketing, Customer Service, Marketing

CITGO Petroleum Corporation has been an iconic American brand since 1910. Yet, although the company boasts a long history of providing a variety of services to consumers, like any forward-thinking company, CITGO wanted to make sure its brand identity had staying power. To do that, the company knew it needed to keep up with today’s tech-savvy consumers by introducing its own mobile app.

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Friday Forecast: The Bees in Her Bonnet — 5 Fast Takeaways from Avalanche Creative’s Queen Bee Ava Seavey

by Rick Petry on Mar 23, 2018 3:00:00 AM DRTV, Social Media, Direct Response, Marketing

This is one of an occasional series featuring direct marketing leaders who will share five key insights they have learned from their career in marketing and advertising. This week, your Friday Forecaster met up with Ava Seavey, Queen Bee of Avalanche Creative Services, Inc., a cost-effective alternative to traditional Madison Avenue agencies that she founded in 2001.

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[OPINION] Why Google Owes TV a Big Thank You

by Bill McCabe on Mar 22, 2018 3:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, DRTV, e-Commerce, Direct Response, Marketing


Every day, Google processes 3.5 billion search queries. That’s an average of 40,000 per second. And while Google deserves a ton of credit for its success and dominance, it may want to send out a few “Thank You” notes. A most worthy recipient, in my opinion, would be the television industry and its advertisers.

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Have You Seen the FTC’s 2017 Consumer Sentinel Network Report?

by Bill McClellan on Mar 21, 2018 3:00:00 AM Government Relations, Consumer Protection

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released its 2017 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. Have you had a chance to check it out yet?

During 2017, the system had 2.7 million reports, a slight decrease from 2016. Fraud accounted for 1.1 million reports (42.54% of all reports). The identity theft category had 371,000 complaints (13.87%), with the “other” category rounding the majority of the remaining complaints with a 1.2 million (43.59%) total.

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Cryptocurrency, Your Business and Your Customers

by Michael Alden on Mar 19, 2018 3:00:00 AM DRTV, e-Commerce, Support Services, Customer Service, Direct Response, Marketing, Consumer

We have all heard it, “Bitcoin,” the first cryptocurrency created in late 2008, early 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. Many of us are still on the periphery and don’t understand Bitcoin or cryptocurrency. As marketers and direct response professionals, we try to stay on top of the latest trends and disruptive technology. Cryptocurrency is one of those disruptive technologies that cannot be ignored in any industry. For many, the term, “cryptocurrency,” itself is scary and somewhat esoteric.

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Friday Forecast: Mitt Happens – How a Disposable Wipe Went Viral and Cleaned Up

by Rick Petry on Mar 16, 2018 4:22:39 PM Digital Marketing, DRTV, Social Media, Direct Response, Marketing, Consumer, As Seen on TV

Just about everyone in advertising or marketing who isn’t already a marketer has dreamed of having that winning product that will allow them to reap the fruit of their expertise from the client side of the desk, as opposed to that of a vendor. Such was the case back in 2013 when Michael Weinstein was driving across New York’s Westchester County, listening to shock jock Howard Stern on the radio. Weinstein, who today is Chief Marketing Officer for Allstar Products Group, was running a digital agency at the time. Stern had billionaire Mark Cuban as his guest and had thrown down a challenge to his staff: each of them took a turn pitching a product idea to Cuban to see if they could pique the businessman and investor’s interest. When it came time for producer Richie Wilson to pitch, he was flush with an idea: a disposal wet wipe in the shape of a mitten called, Shittens. The entire studio, not to mention the listening audience, was in stitches. Cuban’s response: “Shittens! Everyone needs one!”

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ERA Honors Marketers and Suppliers During Network Chicago 2018

by Vi Paynich on Mar 15, 2018 3:00:00 AM ERA News, DRTV, Retail, Member News, Direct Response, Marketing, As Seen on TV

On March 11, the direct response marketing industry came out in droves to attend the Electronic Retailing Association’s annual Network Chicago on the ROOF of theWit Hotel. Guests had a bird’s eye view of the Windy City’s picturesque skyline, as they mingled over cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. The highlight of the evening, of course, was the presentation of the 2018 ERA Achievers Awards, which recognized member companies for providing outstanding levels of leadership and financial support to ERA throughout 2017. The awards include two categories: marketer and supplier.

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Social Media Influencers: A Conversation with the FTC

by Bill McClellan on Mar 14, 2018 3:00:00 AM Government Relations

Recently, Amy Mudge of Venable LLP sat down with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Mary Engle to discuss social media influencers in the Snapchat era.

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Friday Forecast: Blue Chip Marketer Peggy Bell Joins ERA

by Rick Petry on Mar 9, 2018 2:28:02 PM Marketing

Senior marketing veteran Peggy Bell recently joined ERA as vice president, marketing. Rather than having an association background, which has been typical of recent ERA executives, Peggy has a diverse background that includes working in advertising and marketing within best-of-class corporations, such as Sprint and Capital One to Cigna Healthcare, Redbox Instant by Verizon, AT&T and Comcast. Your Friday Forecaster recently sat down with her for a free-wheeling conversation about her background and her initial perspectives on ERA’s challenges, and some of her initial ideas on how it might thrive and grow.

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The Next Frontier for DR Industry Self-Regulation – Improved BBB Ratings?

by Bill McClellan on Mar 8, 2018 5:19:55 PM Government Relations

There is big buzz brewing in the industry. At the recent ERA Great Ideas Summit in Miami, we held an educational session entitled, “How to Improve Your Better Business Bureau Rating.” The panel was introduced by ERA board member, Phil Smith, President of Response, who sponsored this important effort.

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Have You Read The FTC’s New 5 Year Strategic Plan?

by Bill McClellan on Mar 1, 2018 9:47:38 AM Government Relations

Early last month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its new five-year strategic plan for the fiscal years 2018 through 2022. I thought I would take this week’s blog post to highlight some of the FTC’s forward-looking operational thinking and how it relates to the Direct Response community. This roadmap will guide the FTC over the next five years so it should provide us with an outline of the FTC’s plans in the years ahead.

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Three Dynamic Sessions at GIS 2018 You Won’t Want to Miss!

by Vi Paynich on Feb 21, 2018 11:18:32 AM Great Ideas Summit, DRTV, Retail

If you’re attending the Great Ideas Summit 2018, be sure to set aside room in your schedule for education. This year, the Electronic Retailing Association will present three Dynamic Knowledge Sessions on Tuesday, February 27, in the Mona Lisa room of the Eden Roc Miami Beach Resort. 

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The State of Chargebacks: 8 Key Lessons for Retailers

by David DeCorte on Feb 20, 2018 12:25:30 PM e-Commerce

The future looks bright for the eCommerce market. Global online sales are projected to reach nearly $4.5 trillion a year by 2021. Millions of interconnected shoppers, especially those in fast-growing overseas markets, are hungry for consumer goods. New customers connect with retailers every day through developing channels, opening new opportunities to collect data and market to buyers on a personalized level.

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Friday Forecast: When Customer Service Does a Disservice

by Rick Petry on Feb 16, 2018 11:50:20 AM Customer Service

Have you ever wanted to do business with a company, but they made it so difficult you finally just gave up? Such was my experience recently when, in the hunt for a new desk, I encountered Restoration Hardware, now known by the acronym RH which, based upon my experience might as well stand for “Really Hard [to do business with].” While I’m sure recounting my travails will be cathartic, my real purpose here is to draw invaluable lessons that any marketer can apply, including the aforementioned purveyor of designer goods.

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Is Bipartisanship Re-Blooming at the FTC?

by Bill McClellan on Feb 14, 2018 4:18:18 PM Government Relations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has always had a reputation for bipartisanship among the commissioners and other leadership staff. As we have previously reported, there are currently four open positions on the Commission out of a total of five spots. Over the past year, there has been the question of whether the well-deserved reputation of working together across party lines would hold in this era of hyper-partisanship.

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Do You Know About the New General Data Protection Regulation?

by Bill McClellan on Feb 8, 2018 12:21:59 PM data breach

Last week I had a call about the new European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It is a European rule that goes into effect on May 25, 2018, that could potentially effect companies worldwide.

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Friday Forecast: Super Bowl Ads' Mixed Bag of 'Super Duper' Tactics

by Rick Petry on Feb 2, 2018 9:01:00 AM Advertisements

Happy Groundhog Day! Not to be confused with the other Groundhog Day coming this Superbowl Sunday. No, I’m not talking about the New England Patriots' uncanny ability to pull out the win no matter the odds. I’m referring to the annual (and typically predictable) advertising derby which many speculate is half the reason why an audience of over 100 million are expected to tune in.

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Online Sales Tax Update

by Bill McClellan on Jan 31, 2018 12:30:13 PM Government Relations

Earlier this year, ERA issued a press release with my reaction in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to review of its Internet Sales Tax rulings. Specifically, the court granted a petition for certiorari in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., Overstock.com, Inc. and Newegg, Inc.

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Friday Forecast: Meltzer Media's Petra Gopfert Shares 5 Fast Takeaways Regarding the Impact of Social Media

by Rick Petry on Jan 29, 2018 1:19:14 PM Social Media

This is one of an occasional series featuring direct marketing leaders who will share five key insights they have learned from their career in marketing and advertising. Recently your Friday Forecaster sat down with Petra Gopfert, VP of Retail Operations for New York-based Meltzer Media.

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Friday Forecast: Koeppel Study Proves DRTV's Power to Drive Web Traffic

by Rick Petry on Jan 19, 2018 10:52:39 AM Marketing

Direct marketing agency leader Peter Koeppel of Dallas-based Koeppel Direct has published a rather remarkable article in Forbes entitled “Measuring TV Advertising’s Impact On Website Traffic” that makes a definitive case for DRTV’s unmatched ability to drive traffic to an advertiser’s website.

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FCC Revives Its Own Native Advertising Rule: Sponsorship Identification

by Ian D. Volner and Kathleen K. Sheridan on Jan 17, 2018 2:40:45 PM Government Relations


The FCC’s Sponsorship Identification Rule is a close, perhaps neglected cousin of the FTC’s Enforcement Policy Statement on Deceptively Formatted Advertisements, i.e., its Native Advertising Guide. Nevertheless, the FCC’s latest enforcement action demonstrates how failure to follow the rule can result in penalties far larger than any imposed to date by the FTC.

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Multi-Level Marketing in the FTC’s Sights

by Bill McClellan on Jan 11, 2018 3:39:03 PM Government Relations

Over the years working at ERA, I have developed a long standing tradition to start the new year. After returning to work from vacation I keep an extra close eye on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s website and announcements to see what they have announced as priorities in the year to come.

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The FTC’s Blurred Lines Report

by Bill McClellan on Jan 4, 2018 4:02:24 PM Government Relations

Sitting here in the Washington D.C. area during this year’s “bomb cyclone” blizzard, I am really looking forward to visiting the warmer climate of Miami, Florida for ERA’s 2018 Great Ideas Summit scheduled for February 26-28 at the Eden Rock Hotel.

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Net Neutrality: From Rules to Enforcement

by Richard P. Lawson and Lisl J. Dunlop on Dec 20, 2017 11:00:43 AM Government Relations

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.

To say that strong passions have surrounded the recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote to reverse 2015’s net neutrality rules is putting it mildly.

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Thank God I Own a Drone

by Collette Liantonio and Collette Stohler on Dec 19, 2017 1:02:20 PM Digital Marketing

After 35 years as a creative director and writer in DRTV, many would consider me to be a direct response expert. When my daughter, Collette Stohler, invited me to critique her social media postings for a prominent shoe company, I felt my insight would be invaluable. Collette and her husband Scott are travel journalists and social media influencers on Roamaroo.com.

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Editorial Disclaimer

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.