BuzzAgent's Whitepaper on Transparency
BuzzAgent the company that produces word of mouth campaigns has just released a study on the effects of transparency to word of mouth campaigns. If you disclose that a participant in a program is volunteering for the program, BuzzAgent discovered a campaign will not suffer here are the results.
* Disclosure does not reduce word of mouth activity
* Disclosure creates peer trust
* Disclosure combats "stealth" stigma
* Disclosure supports perceived product value
* Disclosure increases depth and reach of product-related discussions
These results are interesting for the current discussion about revealing a connection with a company, when a company has not compensated a word-of-mouth campaign participant. In October a non-profit called Commercial Alert sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, suggesting that certain word of mouth campaigns are deceptive, and that the commission should investigate them.
See my article on the Commercial Alert letter, "Endorsement Without Disclosure: Commercial Alert FTC Letter Points To P & G and Buzz Marketing", and my subsequent post "More Perspectives On The Commercial Alert Letter," where I agree with Dr. Walter Carl of Northeastern University that a participant's association should be revealed, even if not required by law.
Posted by johncass at December 5, 2005 10:11 PM
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Agreed. Full disclosure is key and ethical. But since when is marketing ethical?
Posted by: Kasey Doshier at December 9, 2005 9:41 PM
My answer would be every day I hope. Marketing is the process of understanding your customers needs and wants and satisfying those needs efficiently and profitably. I think a company has to be ethical to survive in today's world. Personally I believe that every customer is a born marketer, if you have expectations about what's fair as a customer, you have some understanding on how to correctly understand your audience and provide a fair deal.
Posted by: john Cass at December 13, 2005 6:42 PM