Attention all B2B Marcom practitioners. This is for real.
According to an article appearing in TheRegister.co.uk:
"Nothing beats word of mouth for getting people to put their hand in their pockets. So it didn't take long for cheeky marketing departments to cotton on to the power of blogs and pose as consumers praising their own particular widget to the skies to help lift their top line."
"Sneaky, perhaps, but usually legal. Not for much longer, however, as covert commercial blogging – or flogging – will soon be banned by Brussels."
Additionally, the article reveals:
"The directive is not just aimed at online activity, and a number of commercial practices will be unfair in all circumstances. This black list of practices includes "falsely claiming or creating the impression that the trader is not acting for purposes relating to his trade, business, craft or profession, or falsely representing oneself as a consumer". In other words, companies will not be able to pretend to be someone else, without clearly stating who they actually are."
The article says the new rules will be in place in Q1 2008. So, play nice out there!
I received word of this info via the Word of Mouth Marketing Association's eletter.