marketing legal

How to keep your marketing legal

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Marketers spend most of their time thinking about improving ROI and crafting the perfect message. Unfortunately, this means they often forget about the legalities of marketing. If you don’t pay attention to the law, you could end up being sued by customers.  This article will teach you how to keep your marketing legal. 

Just Don’t Lie

The golden rule of marketing is simple; don’t lie. Misleading, vague, and exaggerated claims will get your company in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). To stay legal means, to tell the truth. The FTC will crack down hard on marketers who make false claims, so it is best to avoid them altogether.

Keep Your Promises

When you promise something, deliver. Ads that over-hype results or subtlety shade the truth can lead to one of two lawsuits: a class action suit or an inquiry from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Either one of these is expensive or time-consuming. If you tell an average person they can make $500 a day doing something, they will easily believe it and expect the same results. However, if their results don’t live up to your claims, they may take legal action against your company.

Be Careful With Images

Using images in your marketing is tricky. Marketers must use the correct wording when describing an image and understand that just because you didn’t create it, doesn’t mean you can use it. You must make sure to get permission before using any copyrighted images. If not, you may be sued for copyright infringement (or plagiarism if you copy an image verbatim).

Social Media Promotions

Social media is a great place to promote your company and gain new leads. There are some caveats, however. Firstly, you cannot require someone to like or follow your page as a condition of entry. In addition, you cannot create fake profiles as an entry requirement as this is against Facebook’s terms of service (and can get you banned).

Be Careful With People’s Data

The last thing a marketer wants is a lawsuit from a customer who feels they were tricked into giving their information. This is why it’s important to have clear, visible forms with an opt-out option for those that don’t want to be contacted by your company. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions on Google. For example, if you’re planning on sending an SMS as part of a political campaign, you might be asking, can politicians text you?

Monitor Legal Changes

It is important to monitor major legal changes so you can adjust your marketing accordingly. For example, the new GDPR laws coming out of Europe will have a big impact on marketers who use European data. Fortunately, there is not much they can do unless you’re already in their countries. However, if you are targeting European customers, you should make sure you’re not breaking these new laws.

Hire an Expert 

If you feel you need help staying legal, consider hiring a legal professional. It is not worth the risk to hire an amateur and find out later that your company did something illegal. There are many companies available that can help you stay on the right side of the law and avoid PR nightmares and lawsuits. This might seem like a big outlay, but it’s money well-spent in the long run. 

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