Our colleague, Paull Young, was quoted today in the Christian Science Monitor story ‘Who’s That Selling at Your (Online) Door‘ about ethics within social media and word of mouth marketing. Social media and word of mouth marketing are successful due to the trust they engender, but as more brands move budgets into this realm, the pressure to “bend the rules” will increase. Stealth marketing, astroturfing, fake blog (“flogs”) and other “dark art” tactics will simply destroy trust and, in the process, the effectiveness. And once trust is lost, it is all-so-difficult to regain.

Converseon is proud to be a governing member of WOMMA which has taken a lead in developing a set of ethical guidelines. Now it’s up to the industry to self regulate. We applaud organizations like DuPont who have formally adopted the WOMMA code of ethics.

At Converseon, all our work is in compliance. We find that this does not in any way limit effectiveness or creativity. There simply is no need to resort to unethical tactics. We also work closely with our clients to help adopt the ethical code, train them and also help set up compliance mechanisms. We recognize our role in helping this industry flourish and hope others hold themselves and their clients to the same standards. In a world where technology is helping to create new bonds through new communications tools and technologies, we, as an industry and a society, cannot afford to accept anything less.