Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Know Your Stuff: The Value of Legal Counsel in Brand Marketing

There's nothing more frustrating & embarrassing than creating a drop dead promo or campaign only to have it shot down by corporate counsel for the simple reason that it is in violation of state, local, or federal regulations.

Or worse ...
Except, of course, if your corporate counsel is more familiar with patent law than FCC regs and the campaign launches without thorough and comprehensive review. When the regulators and various legal entities descend on your company, you can rest assured Counsel will pass the buck right to your office. And sleep very well that night too, thank you.

Integrate Creative with Practical -- You'll be Glad You did
Creativity is only part of campaign development. If you're not up on the legalities and liabilities that come with the job you're a prosecution waiting to happen.

Just like knowing your budget boundaries, you need to know your legal boundaries before planning a campaign. As such, you not only save time and $$, but you position yourself and your team as genuine, credible resources for your organization. Enhance your value and the value of your group and you will find it a lot easier to do your job without the second guessers, and dime-a-dozen arm chair marketeers.

If you haven't gotten around to drafting a Policies & Procedures manual for Marketing at your organization, this is an excellent way to educate yourself, educate your team and educate your organization at large.  In addition it consolidates your brand requirements, style guide and procedures for material requests.

Last but not least, it helps your company educate employees (and management) about way they can promote the brand most effectively, as well as avoid inadvertent brand damage (think Chrysler employee tweeting profanities about Detroit drivers last year ... make me wince just recalling it!)

What triggered this dire warning?
Oh, I was just getting caught up on some blog reading and came across the following post. I urge you to read it -- and anything else you find on PR, IR and marketing-centric laws. Social Media Promotions and the Law: What You Need to Know | Social Media Examiner

More Resources
Here are a few additional online resources for just this purpose:
Got a Professional Organization?
Several are good sources for information about the laws and regulations that pertain to many facets of Marketing, including:
  • AMA (American Marketing Assoc.) http://www.marketingpower.com
  • DMA (Direct Marketing Assoc.) http://www.the-dma.org
  • PMA (Promotion Marketing Assoc.) http://www.pmalink.org
Nobody Said This Was Going to be Easy
In fact, I've been known to remark that Marketing positions should be posted with a Surgeon General's Warning all their own.  But, for those of us who have found a real niche in Marketing, constantly learning and staying abreast of news and developments is one of the aspects of the function that make it dynamic and interesting.

These are the details that differentiate the professionals from the wannabes.  A Marketing professional thinks outside the box while also knowing the contents of the box like the back of his/her hand.

Can you recommend other resources?
We'd like to hear from you.  Please post a comment and refer us to your colleagues.


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