While regulations around social media continue to pique the interests of PR professionals, there are other regulatory issues that might crop up in 2011. Joseph Lewczak and Michael Lasky, partners at law firm Davis & Gilbert LLP, which specializes in the PR and marketing communications industry, came up with the top issues that PR executives might face next year. They include:
1. Continued enforcement of the endorsement and testimonial guidelines: Issued in October 2009 by the FTC, the edicts apply to all marketing activities and to work done by PR firms. “Make sure social media training and monitoring are firmly in place,” says Lasky. (Detailed information about these guidelines can be accessed on the Davis & Gilbert Web site, www.dglaw.com.)
2. Behavioral marketing: Push for continued self-regulation in this area and participate in the self-regulatory process to avoid burdensome regulation.
3. Product placement: The FCC is still considering whether additional disclosures may be necessary.
4. Agency intellectual property: “Watch for the continued trend for agencies to push to retain rights to ideas and creative work rejected by the client, and consideration to having the client license the work, rather than to have the agency transfer outright ownership to the client,” says Lasky.
Read more about the lobbying and advocacy efforts of PR organizations.