(Twelve-minute read) 

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a considerable drop in advertising spending however life in the time of coronavirus is increasingly a life lived online which has led to an acceleration of digital adoption and e-commerce.

Our current regulations governing advertising are no longer enough to ensure protection against aggressive sales techniques, false or deceptive ad messages, as well as intentionally incomplete information. The Sale of Goods Act of 1979 under which all advertised goods must match the description advertised on them is out of date. 

In today’s digital era, conventional marketing dictums no longer hold true.

In a nutshell, ‘Everything for everyone, customized’

The very nature of what this industry is about should with the current difficulties facing the world be questioned.

Clearly, there should be a line separating the private from the public, the free from the controlled.

But who should be in charge of drawing this line?  Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft, Apps, or Laws to curtail the advertising industry from promoting consumerism for the sake of profit.

Just like any other industry, advertising needs regulation.

On one side, we live in free-market times, which means that each product or brand, no matter how big or small, has the right to be noticed but not the right to piggyback on fear – On the other side, not all products and services are equal. Some are neutral, while others might have a negative effect on our health, safety, and overall well-being-  such as gambling- fast food -obesity – cleaning products – damage to ecosystems. 

  1. We realize that advertising should be regulated.
  2. We admit that proper regulation can only be implemented on a state level.
  3. We are as concerned about government data collection as we are with data collection by marketing agencies and brands.

What is mind-blowing is that even with so many organizations, laws, and regulations designed to control the quality of advertising, some brands manage to get around ad regulations using legal loopholes.

You only have to look at BIo it now applies to everything down to sardines in tins. 

It would be an understatement to say that advertising regulation is complex but is it not time with what the world is facing to force it to rethink and stop pigging backing on the problems we all now face.

These days, when massive data breaches have become the new norm just imaging what is going to happen when the advertising media get their hands on promoting a vaccine against COVID -19.

Ad regulations should specify which forms of data collection and tracking are been used in order to consider what is legal and which Ad be banned. As the need for this form of regulation emerges international regulations such as GDPR come into play. The primary goal of such documents is to limit/control the power of ad tech companies, marketing agencies, and brands trying to make the most out of user data.

If not mass, untargeted broadcasting will become passé and data will be at the heart of marketing strategy.

New tracking and data collection technologies make us all more vulnerable and unprotected than ever before.

For instance, if there were no advertising regulations put in place, we will fall victim to the whims of marketers, quickly and inevitably, once and for all.

Brands will use complex combinations of personal data, location data, and environment data to target their customers with the right message at the right time on the right device.

These days, everything changes in a heartbeat. With new technologies, advertising can be as personalized as we allow it to be –  voice marketing.

In the modern ‘attention economy’ where consumer attention is divided across more devices, applications, and formats than ever before, only engaging and relevant ads will command consumer attention.

Advertisers are adapting by following consumers, which means prioritizing digital advertising. The online environment is favorable for “direct response” campaigns – those encouraging quick purchases by consumers.. and technological innovation continuously redefines the landscape of advertising. 

This new era has placed new demands upon marketers. AI and machine learning bring massive benefits to marketing. Digital advertising technology is changing rapidly. New communication technology –including social media, wearables, virtual reality — is turning the advertising industry upside down.

One could argue that many elements of human behavior are going to change permanently and there will be increasing complexity in consumer purchasing decisions but this will not stop advertising from exploration and delivering targeted ads.   

If we want real transformation all companies must find new ways of brand-building by using advertising to create awareness of climate change, pollution, racism, slave labor, etc.  In forests of inaccurate data we can’t make sense of or dark caves of illusory tech that yield no light at the end of the tunnel.

With more and more highly specific marketing there is still a lot to be done in this regard both on national and international levels. – greater transparency in the value chain is required.

A few examples: 

Switzerland: Although the local ad space is small, it is worth our attention. According to Swiss law, advertising lotteries and games of chance are strictly prohibited. In Switzerland, it is illegal to promote pharmaceutical products under prescription in any publicly available media. Health-related and nutritional claims for foods are only permitted if they deliver exactly what they promise.

China: The Chinese advertising market is the second-largest in the world and one of the most interesting in terms of ad control. For instance, brands can be fined up to $157,000 for using statements such as “the best,” “the most,” or similar phrases in their marketing campaigns. Another fascinating fact is that children under 10 are not allowed to endorse or promote within Chinese ads (even if it’s an advertisement for toys!)

Chile: Under Chilean law, it is not allowed to advertise products that are high in calories, sugar, sodium, and saturated fats to children under the age of 14. Brands producing the above-mentioned foods cannot be marketed in schools and are illegal to use in cartoons or toys for promotional purposes.

Ireland: According to advertising regulations in Ireland, any ads that target children under 18 cannot include celebrities. Foods that are high in sodium, sugar, or fats are completely banned from advertising on channels where at least half of the audience is under 18 years old.

All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.