No, I am not chaneling FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH's Jeff Spicoli. I mean to say that there ARE rules involved with a viral marketing campaign or activity. This is especially true for B2B viral Marcom.
In a recent article titled Viral Campaigns Aren't Immune From Ad Rules,
Joseph Lewczak, of Davis & Gilbert, LLC, informs us that "A little knowledge can save you from a legal or public relations nightmare."
He goes on to cite a variety of potentially-applicable rules and caveats, including (all quotes):
*Compliance starts with Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices affecting interstate commerce.
*...an omission of a material fact is the most likely violation.
*Anything that hides the nature of participants acting on behalf of an advertiser in a viral campaign likely would be considered deceptive.
The article is rich in guidance and ideas.
The point is that, while it looks like fun and games, and while we all have heard stories of outrageous viral activities, common sense, and the law, do apply in this forum.
Lewczak concludes by saying, "Viral sites, even if used for blogging or news dissemination, should be considered commercial in nature, ...". I highly recommend you read the article.