Everything you need to know about Marketing Compliance.
What is marketing compliance?
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.
The risks of being ‘non-compliant’
By ignoring marketing compliance regulations, companies risk:
- regulatory fine
- Losing customers
- gaining a bad reputation
A non-compliant campaign might get pulled, causing major financial loss from wasted campaign budgets, and heavy fines. 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.
Marketing compliance complexity
There are 4 things that make Marketing Compliance such a complex task:
- There’s no one ‘text book’
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 Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and trade and industry groups who provide rules 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.
- It’s hard to keep up
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.
- You are being watched
With consumer watchdogs, 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.
- The clash of the titans
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.
Things you should look out for
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:
- Brand guidelines
- Misleading statements/representations
- Non-evidence based claims
- Deceptive/unfair claims
- Competitive Claims
- Special Offers
- Sweepstakes and Contests
- Privacy issues
- Age-appropriate materials
- Offensive claims/images etc
* This list is very general and does not reflect a complete list of compliance requirements.
How can compliance become a competitive advantage?
As a marketer, you might think compliance is best left in the hands of the experts.
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.
Contact us today to learn more about our marketing compliance services.
Our range of innovative solutions can be tailored to suit your unique requirements, no matter whether you’re currently working from home, or are continuing to go into the office. Our services can be deployed individually or combined to form a broader solution to release your energies and focus on your clients.
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