Does Obama’s "Change" Include Marketing?

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: – “Obama Promises Change: Is It Bad for Marketers?”

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Author: Don Roy

Marketing educator, blogger, & consultant- Having fun with all of the above!

2 thoughts on “Does Obama’s "Change" Include Marketing?”

  1. It is possible that the Obama presidency will change some regulations for marketing practice. His entire campaign has been so technology driven. For instance, I saw today where his camp has created a new site ( in order to keep the American people informed about the issues and his current stance as he gains more and more information. Therefore, the changes are quite possible. I agree with your statement that the (3) areas to be prohibited are not too politically threatening. Since they will more than likely be seen as a positive thing for most Americans I believe that this is definitely one of the changes that we will see made pretty soon.

  2. Why would these areas be attacked? I see these items as the least threatening and I believe there’s more important things that need to be taken care of.

    There’s so much money going into the internet advertising, that if they attacked that with today’s economy, it might actually hurt it more.

    I want children to be marketed to. Kids make up for millions, if not billions of money going into the economy. Sure, the parents might get annoyed because their kid wants the new toy they just seen, but if we took that market away, look at all the jobs going to waste. Entertainment industries will suffer, jobs will be cut, there won’t be as much money going back into the system as before. Keep marketing to kids, I see nothing wrong with it.

    Banning pharma companies from advertising is against their right for commercial speech. So if we get rid of the drug companies ads to lower hypochondriac numbers, then can we stop advertising for fast food, to lower the ridiculous number of fat people in this country? People have the right know what medications are out there.

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