FTC guidelines take aim at guerilla marketing as well

While a lot of attention surrounding the new guidelines being issued by the FTC is regarding bloggers there is also another who section of advertisers that is going to get hit hard by these new guidelines. Ignoring the fact for now that newspapers are being given a clear path to maintain their current status quo of self-regulation guerilla marketers are going to have a very hard time doing business under these guidelines.

For those not familiar with the term guerilla marketing it is a type of marketing where for example sake you are sitting at the bar having a nice cold beer and some-one you don’t know sits down beside you and you both start talking about brands of beer and why you like certain ones. This person beside you starts really talking up the brand of beer, one you’ve probably never tried because it’s new, their are drinking and then offers to buy you one, or two.

That is what is commonly referred to as guerilla marketing.

To the FTC this type of advertising would require full disclosure

A young man signs up to be part of a “street team” program in which points
are awarded each time a team member talks to his or her friends about a particular
advertiser’s products. Team members can then exchange their points for prizes, such as
concert tickets or electronics. These incentives would materially affect the weight or
credibility of the team member’s endorsements. They should be clearly and
conspicuously disclosed, and the advertiser should take steps to ensure that these
disclosures are being provided.

(page 81)

As I said earlier the only medium not covered by any of these new guidelines is the traditional print media – anyone else … well you’re fair game.