Massachusetts Bill Would Legislate Word of Mouth Marketing
Democratic State Representative Michal E. Festa has introduced a bill which, if passed, would require children under 16 to obtain permission from their parents before becoming part of word of mouth campaign or network such as Boston-based BzzAgent.
BzzAgent spokeswoman Kelly Hulme told the Boston Globe the company's current business model mirrors Festa's goal, saying, "The way that our model works, it's not asking people to go out and talk to strangers. It's asking people to share their opinions with their friends. It's not like trying to sell a product. We notify parents (of kids under 16). We send them a separate letter telling them 'Your teens have decided to participate in this program.'" While that really amounts to obtaining permission after the fact, Hulme indicated the BzzAgent would work with lawmakers to create legislation protecting children.
Actually, I've never understood why minors aren't just off-limits:
You can try to make kids off-limits, but you can't legislate word-of-mouth. If surveying (as opposed to word-of-mouth) is made illegal, will we see things like the Zandl Hot Sheet shrivel up and die, too?
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