When Making The Jump To Social Media, Don’t Forget The Fine Print

With the exception of the occasional cases of less than trustworthy marketers purposefully trying to circumvent marketing rules and getting busted, it’s rare to hear about companies getting in trouble for breaking fair advertising rules in television and print these days. However, many otherwise well respected companies have been getting caught doing just that in their social media marketing campaigns.

Have these companies suddenly given up on their well respected reputations and decided to defraud customers whenever possible? No, there is no evidence to support anything so sinister. In nearly every case of such wrong-doing as reported by the self-regulating industry group, the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council, has been quickly addressed and fixed by the offending company. It would seem that these large corporations are forgetting that just because they have made the jump from print and broadcast advertising to digital, the same old rules still apply.

This is a very important lesson that needs to be learned by anyone who is participating in the Toronto business marketing industry. The number one jam that many of these companies are running into is forgetting to provide full disclosure surrounding any claims they make on their Facebook and twitter accounts. For example, whenever a weight loss company advertises on television they always show the “before and after” pictures of people who have reportedly lost weight on their program. Advertising laws require that these pictures are always accompanied by a disclosure that the “results are not typical” as well as any other information regarding whether the spokesperson has been paid or compensated in some way. However, many times companies will post this type of picture to their social media accounts without that associated disclosure. Even if not done intentionally or with malice aforethought, it is still technically a violation of standard advertising rules.

Please remember to follow all advertising rules in all of your forays into Toronto business marketing. If we all work together to show that we have our customers’ best interests at heart, then we will be able increase the effectiveness and respectability of our online advertising campaigns. When that happens, it will be the best for everyone as we will increase our income while also increasing the availability of information to the general public.