December 30th, 2009
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) is seeking public comments on its Ethics Code until January 5. If you are involved with any business use of social media (which includes blogging), you should review the code and make suggestions.
For some, the business ethics of social media present a quandary. Organizations like the WOMMA, and federal regulators like the FTC and the EU are trying to make ethical (and legal) behavior easier with codes of ethics, new regulations, etc.
This is a favorite topic of mine, and is covered in my book. (In fact the WOMMA graciously granted me permission to include the full text of their code in the book.) The WOMMA Ethics Code is one of the best out there.
WOMMA is calling its public participation The Living Ethics Project. In a letter to members and friends of the organization, president-elect Paul M. Rand wrote:
“As most of you know, WOMMA has helped shape and lead the charge for effective and meaningful social media disclosure. The recently introduced FTC Guidelines, in fact, make numerous positive references to WOMMA’s Ethics Code.
As a next step in the process, WOMMA is working to finalize explicit best practices for social media disclosure for both marketers and bloggers (like the FTC, WOMMA applies the term “bloggers” to refer to individuals posting online content, whatever the channel).
Please take a moment to review these disclosure guidelines at the Living Ethics blog and provide your comments.
The comments section will remain open until January 5, 2010, and final guidelines will be issued shortly thereafter.”