I will be attending the 2014 annual meeting of the Association of Corporate Counsel (“ACC”) in New Orleans from October 28th through October 31st, as my firm is again proud to be a sponsor of the ACC’s annual conference. For those interested, you can follow the events and panels at @ACCinhouse, and tweet using #ACCAM14. For those willing and able to register for the annual meeting (there’s still time), here is a link to do so.
One of the many interesting panels worth attending will involve a discussion on marketing and social media, and the regulatory concerns that may arise when a company engages in online advertising, marketing, testimonials, and promotions. The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has been a big player in this arena, having issued guidelines about when and to what extent you or your employees can discuss your company’s products and services through social media, and the potential pitfalls in doing so. The FTC issued guidance materials on these issues effective in December 2009 and more recently in March 2013.
Employer Take Away: What should you as an employer take away from this development?
Social media has clearly changed the conversation from a traditional, one-way description of your company’s products and services to a more collective dialogue with your outside consuming public being engaged and involved in your message. In increasing numbers, companies are also choosing to rely on their own employees to help define how the brand is perceived, and help monitor public reaction to the conversation. This is an area worth watching as new developments continue to arise.
And, for those interested, I will be live tweeting at this and other relevant employment law panels at the ACC meeting, so feel free to follow me at: @MSchmidtEmpLaw.