Being a marketer is all about crafting creative and engaging material that will attract customers and strengthen the sales and brand strategy. However, marketing compliance requires that those materials (be it advertisements, packaging, billboards, leaflets etc.) meet the legal and regulatory standards of both external and internal bodies.
Compliance may seem like a redundant and time-consuming task for marketers, but the bottom line is that it exists to protect consumers from being misled and deceived. Compliance also protects the company brand and reputation from being tarnished and prevents devastating financial penalties from regulators.
By ignoring marketing compliance laws, companies risk:
A non-compliant campaign might get pulled, causing major financial loss from wasted campaign budgets, heavy fines and even class-action lawsuits. Besides losing money and wasting time, advertising complaints may also have a long-term detrimental effect on the brand image, resulting in the loss of current (and potential) customers and irreparable damage to a company’s reputation.
This type of hit to a company’s public image and financials can be very hard to recover from. With information spreading around faster than ever before, reputation management is one of the most important things for business survival.
There are 4 things that make Marketing Compliance such a complex task:
There are so many legal requirements and regulations standards created by different organisations and it’s different from one industry to another. On the one hand you have bodies like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), state and local agencies and trade and industry groups who provide rules, laws and regulations to protect the consumer. On the other hand you have brand guidelines and organisation standards that exist to protect the business. There is a huge collection of compliance guidelines that you need to be aware of and you need to know where to find them.
With consumer watchdogs, government agencies, competitors and other organisations constantly monitoring your marketing activities, there is no room for complacency. You need to ensure your campaigns are compliant with the law and regulations at all times and through all channels.
Marketing compliance is a very dynamic topic that continually changes over time. Any digital progress, case development or new trend can affect a number of rules and standards applicable to your business.
With legal departments pulling towards compliance and marketers striving towards creativity – it’s hard to find the right balance. It can be a long and tedious process before both sides agree and approve marketing material.
You need to be able to think like a consumer. If your marketing material seems ambiguous or inaccurate, there is a high chance that it is not compliant. Here is a non-exhaustive list of red flags to give you an idea of what you should account for:
* This list is very general and does not reflect a complete list of compliance requirements.
As a marketer, you might think compliance is best left in the hands of the legal department.
But what if understanding how to navigate your way through the compliance process could enable you to get more done, gain back control, protect your brand and most importantly reduce time to market?
Let’s face it, marketers don’t have the time to sit down and learn all the regulations and laws out there. But with the right tools, you can take control of your regulatory obligations and make them work for you. That’s where Law of the Jungle Marketing comes in. We use smart technology to turn marketing compliance into your competitive advantage.