My work colleague Max Kalehoff just penned an excellent column for MediaPost that continues the critical conversation on the "Pay to Say" marketing movement. Good fodder in anticipation of next week's WOMMA conference, where WOM/CGM ethics will be discussed along with a host of other topics. Writes Max:
With consumer-generated media and ensuing consumer empowerment one of the most disruptive trends and opportunities in marketing and media today, it’s time for these pay-to-post services, as well as bloggers, advertisers and others, to step up to the plate and tackle this hazy territory of disclosure. It’s confusing. It’s messy. It’s a liability. And, yes, there will always be scum and fraud on the Internet. In its current state, however, this quasi-legitimate space threatens the greater good and integrity of our online community.
Importantly, among the action items he recommends, he encourages trade groups beyond just WOMMA to step up to the plate to address these difficult (and obvious) questions. I could not agree more. From IAB and the BBB to the ANA and the AAA, everyone has been unsettlingly quite on these critical (and quite obvious) issues. These issues are now way bigger that WOMMA. Who will step up to the plate?