Category Archives: The Accountability Studio

How Can You Avoid the Grey Areas of Green Claims?



As consumers are increasingly focused on the impact of their purchasing decisions, companies are looking to convey information on the environmental attributes of their products, services, and sustainability performance.

In the season two premiere of Ad Watchers, La Toya Sutton and her new co-host, Eric Unis, walk listeners through environmental benefit claims, or “green claims,” to help advertisers and practitioners think about the questions they should ask when advertising in this arena. Listen in to hear the four critical questions that companies should ask themselves when developing advertising that incorporates any type of environmental marketing claims.

For more information about this episode, read the show notes here


COPPA Questions: Are Safe Harbors Effective?



As the drumbeat to modernize the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) continues, all components of the 1998 law have come under scrutiny, particularly the Safe Harbor provision. Under COPPA, the FTC has the ability to approve industry groups to administer self-regulatory programs implementing the protections for children outlined in the rule. Recently, some lawmakers have raised concerns that Safe Harbors are not an effective complement to the COPPA rule and might even be allowing for the rubberstamping of businesses that take advantage of Safe Harbors.

To answer this question of whether or Safe Harbors are effective, Mamie Kresses, Vice President of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), hosted a discussion with two people who have been very involved in COPPA compliance from different perspectives: Sheila Millar, Partner at Keller and Heckman, and Daniel Kaufman, Partner at Baker Hostetler and former Deputy Director of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection. Listen in to hear these experts’ thoughts on the value of the Safe Harbor provision, whether it should remain a part of the rule going forward, and ways the provision can be modernized and improved.

For more information about this episode, read the show notes here


What Evidence Do You Need to Support Health Claims?



Any sort of advertising claims related to health or wellness have a special place within advertising claims substantiation: all advertising claims need a reasonable basis, but when it comes to health claims, that reasonable basis has to be competent and reliable scientific evidence, or CARSE. This means that the results of any study done should reflect how the product will work in practice. Tune in to the final episode of Ad Watchers Season One to hear hosts Hal Hodes and La Toya Sutton break down what this evidence should really look like in practice.

For more information about this episode, read the show notes here.


Data Privacy Accountability in Practice: A Case Study of Cisco



In this episode of The Accountability Studio, host Cobun Zweifel-Keegan is joined by two industry professionals for a deep-dive into one company’s innovative approach to data privacy, accountability, and trust. Listen in to hear Josh Harris, BBB National Programs’ Director of Global Privacy Initiatives, and Harvey Jang, Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer at Cisco discuss how Cisco developed its privacy program and how he and his team made privacy a business imperative for the company.

For more information about this episode, read the show notes here


When Are Advertisers Responsible for Consumer Ratings and Reviews?



In the increasingly digital landscape, the influence of word-of-mouth has gone viral. Before making a purchase, consumers frequently turn to a product or service’s reviews and ratings. Since consumers trust what other consumers have to say, brands want to leverage these voices—but are they responsible for them? In this episode, Hal and La Toya explore endorsements and testimonials, as well as the broader category of the implementation of user-generated content in advertising. Listen in to learn about the lines between user-generated content versus testimonials versus endorsements.

For more information about this episode, read the show notes here