President-Elect Barack Obama successfully ran his campaign on the position of “change.” Now that an Obama administration will take over in January, will that change include new regulations for marketing practice?
A recent Brandweek article identifies several potential targets for change under President Obama. Among the possibilities I believe are most likely to occur are:
1. Greater Internet privacy rights. This move would spell trouble for behavioral targeting and other tactics that monitor and capture Web surfers online activity.
2. Crackdown on marketing to children. Greater regulation and even an outright prohibition of targeting children with marketing efforts are possible.
3. Prohibition of direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs. What will we do if we can no longer sing “Viva Viagra” or see another naked couple in his-and-her bath tubs in the middle of nowhere? Allowing pharma companies to advertise their products has been controversial from the beginning. Critics claim it adds to the overall costs for health care and helps create a nation of hypochondriacs.
I cite these changes as most likely because they are not too threatening politically. It can be argued that these policy changes would provide benefits to consumers and the general public that outweigh any negative consequences. Marketing practice has enjoyed a fair degree of self-regulation the last eight years, but the party may be about to come to an end.
Link: Brandweek.com – “Obama Promises Change: Is It Bad for Marketers?”