Dec 2019 (Vol. 59, Issue 4): SOCIAL-MEDIA MARKETING
The Accountability Crisis in Advertising and Marketing
Not since the television quiz-show scandals of the late 1950s has the advertising and marketing disciplines experienced a crisis of accountability that is occurring right now, David W. Stewart (Loyola Marymount University) writes in this final edition of Speaker’s Box. To refresh readers’ memories, the outcomes of the old quiz shows with large payouts for winning contestants were manipulated by producers, often with the collaboration of contestants. Congressional hearings on quiz-show fixing and broadcast ratings eventually led to amendment of the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit the fixing of these shows. And, the threat of further legislation motivated the industry to self-regulate, leading to the creation of the Media Rating Council.
“Fast forward to 2019,” Stewart writes. “New technologies and new media again present opportunities for advertisers to reach audiences in new ways,” and the value consumers place on new technologies spurs even further innovation. But legislation can’t keep pace, and bad actors emerge, “testing the boundaries of appropriate conduct.” Stewart explores sources of concern among consumers, investors, business and government and calls for greater transparency, more proactive self-regulation and greater dialogue about industry-wide solutions.