Wouldn’t it be nice if this were my last post about WOMM? I think it will be, since prattle marketing won’t be much of an issue from now on:
FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials
The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long standing principle that “material connections” (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect – must be disclosed. These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other “word-of-mouth” marketers.
The Brouhaha Over WOMM (2006)
What's the Word? (2008)
Smart or Sneaky? (2008)
My Blog Was WOMMed! (2008)
Internet Hero of the Week (2009)
Snake Oil In Cyberspace (2009)
Believe it or not, there are more. But those are so fossilized that they yield little DNA.
Here’s a recent post by Dick Stroud:
Is the wisdom of crowds for the gullible?
A lot is made about the importance of word-of-mouth as a means of informing the decisions of older consumers. The connection is often made between WOM and the user generated commentary that litters web sites from delighted or aggrieved purchasers.
And here’s a sly, insightful fellow who seems to gag on WOMM even more than Yours Truly:
The Social Media Cesspool
It seems like every company in America has a team of squids working furiously to pollute and manipulate the social media environment with crypto-marketing. These slimy creatures are busy...
- leaving fraudulent reviews and comments
- monitoring" conversations and trying to insert their hidden agendas in ways we can't detect.
- spamming us with dishonest Tweets from nonexistent people
Social media is becoming so compromised by manipulation, its marketing value is suspect before it even gains traction.
For the umpteenth time on these ethereal pages, a slightly tongue-in-cheek quote from my hardcopy (they used to be called books):
When it all comes out in the wash, WOMM will be the best thing to happen to (silly retronym ahead) traditional advertising. Pretty soon, consumers won't believe anybody - even their best friends. They'll realize that they receive the most honest and straightforward information about a product or service from a TV commercial, radio spot, print ad, direct marketing collateral, or product web site. At least we don't lie about who we are and why we're saying what we're saying.
Remember this: Advertising didn't die with the invention of the telephone.
But don't believe me. This is just some blog, and I'm just some blogger. Who knows if someone's paying me to trash word-of-mouth marketing ...
One thing's for sure: You'll never know.