ASA: committed to good regulation but too weak to enforce it?


CAP and the ASA may have published their commitment to good regulation in a statement on 14 July but are those in the marketing industry as committed to responsible marcoms as they should be? 

The ICO and PPP have strong powers of enforcement, including the ability to levy significant fines and ban individuals from the industry. But the ‘name and shame’ approach of the ASA is no longer as effective as it used to be. The new generation of maverick marketers regard it as a badge of honour to run edgy campaigns that skirt around the rules. So in order to avoid advertising and promotional failures – and the resulting unwelcome intrusion from Government, the ASA needs tougher powers to deal with repeat and non-co-operative transgressors. Only then will its commitment to regulation be seen be as legitimate as its aims.

Jeremy Stern, managing director, PromoVeritas

Brand story begins on ‘about us’ page

The Stay true to the brand’s story arc’ feature highlighted how essential a strong brand story is but how difficult it can be to sustain this long term. Marketing has become such an ordinary part of our lives that a brand needs to have a personal touch to resonate. As Graham Bednash points out, we all have a wealth of digital platforms at our disposal for great storytelling, but on a more fundamental level, great storytelling starts with your About Us page. People still gravitate to this page when they land on your site, and those who share a strong story in a creative way here have a head start. I’ve seen some inspiring examples where companies have introduced their team and included videos and photos to make it personal.

Ben Austin, CEO, Absolute Digital Media

Put off by ‘spray and pray’ email propositions

I couldn’t agree more with Secret Marketer’s point on dreary credentials’ presentations – every new business email an agency sends out should be tailored and contain a specific reason as to why the brand would benefit from starting a conversation. ‘Spray and pray’ might work for some types of sales but not business development in marketing services. It’s about taking a consultative approach to identify a prospect’s challenges, seeing if you have a solution and getting in touch if you do. If not, don’t send an email to begin with.

Alexander Beiner, business development manager, Jack Morton Worldwide

Loyalty schemes: not just for acquisition

It’s interesting that loyalty programmes have the most bearing on encouraging customers to switch brands. Everyone wants to feel like a valued customer, so it’s not surprising that point reward schemes and unique vouchers are a key way to entice customers. But while these schemes are an important tool for attracting new customers, the role they play in customer retention must not be forgotten. Some brands will shout about unique special offers and rates for new customers but in the process alienate the ones they already have and worked so hard to get. Loyalty schemes are no longer the domain of supermarkets and mobile phone providers, so marketers in all industries need to consider their role in customer retention as well as acquisition.

Ian Horsham, divisional director, Promotions and Incentives, The Grass


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