Social media marketing has clearly become a top contender in receiving and utilizing digital marketing dollars from companies, however the legalities concerning its use have always been vague. Enter CMP.LY, a New York based startup that works with agencies to offer solutions to automate compliance and keep brands on the "right side of regulations". After two social media campaigns were stopped for violating FTC regulations (Ann Taylor blogger program and Legacy Learning Systems), although they weren’t severely punished, CMP.LY insists on the need to incorporate legal strategies in order to avoid such ramifications.Since these regulations have thus far been largely ignored, the concept of CMP.LY remains uncertain and new. But is this firm the first of many similar companies to pop up and offer support and guidance to agencies that integrate social media campaigns? Will the FTC take more serious action against violators and inevitably begin a new era in social media regulation? How important is CMP.LY today? For years, the laws on social media and the digital marketing, in general have been vague (i.e can we use licensed music to promote a brand on youtube or on a website), but these questions may be far behind us.
I can’t help but wonder how the FTC will affect small firms or start ups that may not have the funds to work with companies like CMP.LY. Perhaps the laws and regulations will be more transparent and understandable to 'regular' business owners that need to learn the nuances of social media marketing from the start. We will need to learn new practices and legal solutions if our companies plan to work within the system. Perhaps companies like CMP.LY should develop software or teaching tools to sell to the mainstream market so smaller firms can take advantage of their services.
I believe this is only the beginning of the crackdown on social media marketing and we need to take action to protect ourselves.