Saturday, April 12, 2008

Buzz marketers take note: laws are changing the biz in the UK

According to vanksenculturebuzz's blog section (cool website, check it out), on April 2nd, the British Institute of Practitioners in Advertising released a warning that will affect all buzz and viral marketing practitioners and internet advertising as a whole. The organization has launched a warning regarding the guidelines prohibiting unethical practices of viral marketing, buzz marketing, and word-of-mouth. Considering the rapid growth of these modes of promotion and advertising, this is a very well-needed and necessary step.

These guidelines will be featured in the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations that will be effective starting May 26, 2008, which already requires that any commercial message must be identified as such so as to not be deceiving to the public.

The following practices will be dubbed as illegal:

-Seeding positive messages about a brand in a blog without making it clear that the message has been created by, or on behalf of the brand.
-Using “buzz marketing” specialists to communicate with potential consumers in social situations without disclosing that they are acting as brand ambassadors.
-Seeding viral ads on the internet in a manner that implies you are a simple member of the public.

Punishments are to be in the form of heavy fines and possibly even prison sentences. So, if you have an online company or utilize any online advertisements or promotions for your products, whether it be an ad for a corporation or promoting your own album or clothing line, take note of these new laws, or else there is a big price to pay.

I hope that people agree with these laws, because we are all consumers, and nobody ever likes being duped.

Click here for the rest of the British Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s summary of this movement.

Friday, April 4, 2008

SunChips going green?

Looks like SunChips is sticking true to its name; according to, FritoLay, the own of SunChips, will now be making their popular multigrain snacks (my favorite is Harvest Cheddar, mm), with the help of solar energy. SunChips will commence their eco-friendly production on April 21st, but until then, they have created a coinciding eco-campaign in order to promote SunChips going green.

I personally think this ad campaign is genius. They are using a new slogan, "Live Brightly," which, according to prnewswire, is meant to focus on "the simple yet powerful idea that small steps can add up to have a positive impact on your life as a whole." Not to mention it goes quite well with the solar energy campaign; bright, solar energy, sun, SunChips, get it? I do, and I like it a lot.

So as a part of their new advertising campaign, they are utilizing, yes, online advertising, along with TV and print. On Earth Day, they will debut the very first solar-powered newspaper ad, along with a solar-powered billboard in the company's hometown of Modesto, California. Although this has not alot to do with viral marketing, talk about creating a buzz: eco-friendly advertising, wow, look where we're headed. I'm sure SunChips will get mouths flapping about how they created the first solar-powered newspaper ad and billboards.

In terms of online and viral advertising, they have created a new website,, which features tons of information on solar energy and ways and small steps for people to do to live a cleaner, greener lifestyle. It also has a link to add on a SunChips Get Green Facebook application, which is an amazing idea due to Facebook's popularity and its keen ability to drop advertisements into a website with very high visibility.

Visit the website, check it out. Two progessive movements combine: viral and buzz marketing, and going green. I like the sound of that.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Even being "green" is going viral

According to, an alternative energy company appropriately named, has hired viral marketing company YouCast to further develop the company's viral marketing efforts and ideas to promote their company and its causes.

On April 1st, the company has announced that it has developed its own comedy web series hosted by Chuck Roy, a "Last Comic Standing" semi-finalist, that uses humor to address the need for alternative energy sources. There will be three episodes per week that will be featured on the company's website.

Along with the webisode series, YouCast will promote's News, "Green collar jobs," Products, Social Networking and the new Comedy and Education features. The viral promotion campaign will start with music artists Right On Dynamite, Hung, The Knees, Fewn and Vonesper along with pin-up girl Jennifer Korbin plugging the company on their own Web sites. Jonathan Cohen, founder of YouCast, explains that "the opportunity to inject the online community with a positive message in a fun, engaging way is the YouCast approach and we're elated to spearhead the effort with"

CEO of Doug Schiller is equally as enthused about the partnership and the adoption of a viral marketing strategy in stating "with our comedy series, YouCast's marketing to musician and celebrity sites and an amazing new education section, we are well positioned to become the leading Alternative Energy web portal," This is just the beginning. We will soon introduce even more content."