With business facing calls from Chilean legislators for significant new regulation in marketing and advertising, Chile’s Direct Marketing Association invited Chris Martin, USCIB’s manager for marketing and ICT policy, to address an October conference promoting self-regulation as a better alternative. USCIB’s Marketing & Advertising Committee is focused on promoting strong and effective marketing self-regulation around the world.
In response to some privacy concerns around the potential tracking of consumer information, Chile is considering an across-the-board “opt-in” provision, which would require consumers to opt in to marketing communications on any platform, including mail, telephone, and digital. While some countries have privacy laws around marketing and advertising, very few have in place or are considering quite as sweeping regulation as that being proposed in Chile.
“It is important for Chilean businesses and policymakers to understand how self-regulation is addressing similar privacy issues in other jurisdictions like the U.S. and Europe,” said Mr. Martin. “Especially with regard to digital advertising, the U.S. business community has pioneered self-regulation that responds to privacy concerns and USCIB has been a forceful advocate for harmonizing a global self-regulatory approach, one that balances these important privacy issues with the need to ensure that innovative content and services on the Web can continue to be funded through advertising in order to keep them free or low-cost to consumers.”
As the U.S. affiliate to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), USCIB actively promoted new principles and standards around online advertising in the ICC’s recently revised Marketing & Advertising Code. Available and searchable online at www.codescentre.com, the Code sets the international gold-standard for ethical standards in marketing by providing guidance to global industry and self-regulatory initiatives.
“The problem in Chile, as well as other regions that are considering privacy-focused regulation, is that policymakers often do not understand the impact of the laws they are proposing,” said Sebastián Goldsack Trebilcock, Executive Director, DMA Chile. “Having USCIB come down and speak in Chile about what business is doing in the U.S. and globally helps us in our local efforts to educate regulators and inform the business community about self-regulatory models being deployed in other markets.”
While it may seem counter-intuitive to put forward self-regulation as an effective means of addressing privacy concerns, it has proved effective in many ways, according to Mr. Martin. “What would the Internet look like today if strident privacy regulation had been in place at the outset of the Internet?” he asked. “Would we have all the free content and services we enjoy today, like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, free news sites and any number of these things that we take for granted? It is worth considering. I hope the next big idea has just as much opportunity to take hold and change our world.”
Staff contact: Chris Martin