CMP.LY Aims to Simplify Disclosure and Compliance For Brands

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Back in the day, marketers had significant barriers to overcome when creating programs to market their products to consumers not the least of which was cost. Creating a TV commercial and buying media were and are very expensive. Today, with little to no money at all, a company can launch a website, create a Facebook page, tweet to their heart's content on Twitter, become and "expert" on Quora, publish their opinions and sales pitches on blogs and, generally, do whatever the hell they want to get people to buy their stuff.

The internet has become a Wild West of marketing and little has been done to control what a marketer can and will say to get people to part with their hard earned cash. To quell the craziness, the FTC a couple of years ago updated their guidelines to address what can and cannot be claimed online.

The guidelines were not well received by most bloggers who called the rules impossible to enforce and a great hindrance to free speech. In other words, it was just too painful and difficult.

A new company, CMP.LY. aims to address concerns regarding compliance and disclosure and to simplify the entire process. This, of course, is not new. IZEA, formerly known as PayPerPost was slapped upside the head when it first launched its sponsored post offering mostly because there was no disclosure in place and anyone could say whatever they wished - for money - without having to disclosed they were paid to say it. Well, that quickly changed and now IZEA has some of the strictest compliance guidelines on the market today.

CMP.LY hopes to further that compliance with a set of standards, iconography and framework that can be applied to any form of content found on the internet. CMP.LY bills itself as "social media compliance made extraordinarily simple." Basically, it's point and click compliance for brands dipping their toes into social media waters

This offering is sorely needed. We've seen far too many screw ups by brands who didn't fully disclose - or realize they should - details about their promotion, claim, blogger outreach or social media campaign. Disclosure puts everything upfront, saves embarrassment and reduces possible legal troubles for what a brand might say online.

CMP.LY provides solutions for brands engaging in everything from blogger outreach programs to contests, promotions, brand ambassador programs, promotional content distribution, affiliate marketing offers, content curation, investor relations and more. You can check out all the solutions here.

While we are not usually a fan of bureaucracy, we've been bitten in the ass enough times here at Adrants to realize a disclosure framework such as CMP.LY is sorely needed. On Adrants, we have an advertising unit called the AdverPost. Basically, it's paid editorial. It occasionally appears as the second story on the page on a rotational basis and is controlled by the ad server. It has a different background that the rest of the editorial on the page and contains a disclosure that reads, "The above article is a paid advertisement or Adrants promotion."

To us, that's acceptable disclosure but to the reader it may be confusing. Especially if every publisher were to come up with their own method of disclosure thereby flooding the internet with thousands of disclosure methodologies. It's really a recipe for mass confusion.

So with the proliferation of branded/curated/sponsored online content coupled with the prolific growth and use of social media both by consumers and by brands, a standardized solution for disclosure and compliance is sorely needed.

Sometimes standards are a very good thing.

by Steve Hall    Oct-11-11   Click to Comment   
Topic: Policy   

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