132 Marketing Trends found for Corporate / Legal

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Senior Senators Propose New US Online Privacy Bill

Growing concerns about unregulated online collection and storage of consumer data for marketing purposes has united two senior US senators from opposing sides of the political fence. On April 12 Senators John Kerry (Democrat, Massachusetts) and John McCain (Republican, Arizona) jointly introduced a new bill -- the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights -- to the US Senate. If passed the bill will override the ad industry's half-hearted voluntary effort to allay consumers' privacy fears, instead imposing ... 

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2011 - onward]

... robust restraints on the current personal data-collection free-for-all. The draft bill aims tocentralize various privacy efforts already under way from industry trade groups, government regulators and the Obama administration.

In recent weeks, President Obama has called on Congress to establish a digital privacy law. The online ad industry, meanwhile, had mounted its own self-regulatory program in the past year. 

According to the bill's co-sponsor, Senator Kerry,  the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act will:

  • "Keep our private data safe by laying down fair information practices;
  • "Ensure that businesses collecting personal information will secure that information and will allow those people to say whether or not they want that information used."

Concedes Kerry, however: "All of this information sharing can be good to customers -- we acknowledge that [but] the data deluge is worrying at the same time."

The bill is one of the few currently on Congress's plate with bipartisan support, and given the Obama administration's recent push for a privacy law, insiders say it has a good chance of passing.

The Washington grapevine, however, remain cynical about the bill's prospects.

"It's going to get watered down," warns one person familiar with the process. "If we don't start with the highest possible standard, it's going to turn into a digital Dorian Gray."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5546

Major US Marketers, Agency Groups Seize 'Do Not Track' Initiative

Fearing FCC intervention -- and fazed by the snail-like pace among browser giants and the digital ad industry in imposing a 'do not track' consumer privacy mechanism -- major advertisers, trade associations and agency groups are leaning heavily on all concerned to extract their digits. Among those with their foot on the gas pedal are ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2011 onward]

... the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies. And, according to Stu Ingis, counsel for the Digital Advertising Alliance, all are frantically parlaying with browser-makers including Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Google's Chrome and Mozilla's FireFox.

This sudden hyperactivity marks a major shift from the industry's former 'don't call us; we'll call you' stance - a seachange attributable to fears that the FCC will intervenein the absence of voluntary action by the industry.

A do-not-track tool available across all browser platforms would enable surfers to indicate their objection to the monitoring of their online activity.

Microsoft and Mozilla have already built such features into their recently updated browsers, but the tools are reliant on ad networks and others to honor people's do-not-track requests.

Says Jules Polonetsky, director of the Future of Privacy Forum, an industry-funded privacy think tank in Washington, DC: "It's a dramatic turnaround from where the industry was just weeks ago."

But whether or not the moves are sufficient to appease the internet privacy lobby remains to be seen.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5540

China Outpaces Rest of World in Global Patent Filings

The Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization [WIPO] announced last week that international patent filings by Chinese companies surged by 56.2% in 2010, compared with overall patent growth wordwide of just 4.8% during the the year. According to WIPO director-general Francis Garry, China's growth in patent filings is "astonishing". Conversely, however ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2011 onward]

... none of the nation's universities made it into the top patent-filing university rankings, currently is dominated by universities from the USA and other developed economies.

In 2010, China filed 12,337 patents under the PCT [Patent Cooperation Treaty] system, up from 7,900 cases registered in the previous year, overtaking the Republic of Korea (ROK) as the fourth-ranked PCT filing country worldwide.

Two Chinese companies, ZTE Corporation and Huawei Technologies, were ranked among the top ten world applicants under the PCT system.

Northeast Asia was the most dynamic region in world PCT filings. In addition to China, Japan (ranked second) and the Republic of Korea (ranked fifth) also scored high in patent filings

The two Asian neighbours have respectively seen 7.9% and 20.5% increases in new patent applications. In comparison, the United States, the world's top international patent applicant, registered a 1.7% decrease in PCT filings during 2010 - the third consecutive year in which that nation has registered a negative performance.


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-02/10/c_13724928.htm
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5498

WSJ Predicts Major Technology Showdown Between US and China

No crystal ball is needed to verify the WSJ's prediction. It's a prophesy that will surely come to pass and, equally surely, lead to tears. US President Obama himself raised the issue of mushrooming techno-rivalry between the two superpowers in his State of the Union address last week. Exacerbating the issue is the frenzied activity of China's bureaucrats to build a Great Wall of interlocking regulations and state investment with the aim of ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2011 - 2020]

... ensuring that the People's Paradise becomes the global leader in technology by 2020.

China's agressive new initiatives are moulded by rising nationalism and a belief that foreign companies - especially US and European multinationals - unfairly dominate key technologies.

The still-Communist nation's response to this perceived threat ranges from massive investments in national industries to patent laws that favor Chinese companies, plus the introduction of laws that in essence require foreign companies to transfer technology to China if they want to sell in that market.

The Wall Street Journal likens American business executives view of Beijing's massive new industrial policy to that of the Borg in Star Trek: an enormous organic machine assimilating everything in its path.

These executives claim that China's 'road map', as outlined in the nation's 2006-2020 National Medium and Long Term Plan for the Development of Science and Technology," talks in just such terms.

China, they fear, will build its dominance by "enhancing original innovation through co-innovation and re-innovation based on the assimilation of imported technologies."

"It's a huge, long-term strategic issue," says a top executive of a US technology firm operating in China. "It isn't just the crisis of the day for US business. It's the crisis."

Historians, however, point out that it was just such practices that benefitted the US industrial base after the surender of Nazi Germany in 1945.

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Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5486

Publicis Boss Demands Seven-Year EU Limit on Google's Digitized Content

The European Commission should impose a seven-year limit on publicly-owned content and data digitized by Google, after which period these materials would be available for commercialization by other companies and institutions. Or so argue three EC-appointed advisors, one of whom is Maurice Lévy, chairman/ceo of the world's third largest marketing services company, Publicis. With Google clearly fixed in his crosswires, Lévy also wants to see ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2011 onward]

... the emergence of other innovative tech companies to help digitize Europe’s cultural heritage.

Says the Publicis boss: “We believe there is a lot of opportunity for new players to come and confront Google.”

And whilst Lévy acknowledges that Google has been “essential in the process” of digitizing cultural materials like books, films, photographs and paintings", he argues that the Mountain View mammoth's virtual monopoly is not “very good for competition to have one player on the ground.”

The EU commissioner for education and culture Androulla Vassiliou, also backed the experts’ proposal for a system in which companies like Google could recoup the costs of digitization, whilst ensuring that the period of 'preferential use' did not exceed seven years.

The term 'preferential use' means that during a seven-year period a public domain book digitized by Google would be available only through a library’s website, Google’s website, or a non-commercial webites

Currently Google is observing a 15-year limit - a limit that Ms Vassiliou wants to see more than halved - as does the EU commissioner for digital issues Neelie Kroes.

In opaque mode, Google spokesman Al Verney said the call to lower the limit “adds to the discussion on digitization and highlights its importance in preserving and increasing access to cultural heritage.”

As to whether Google would accede to the limit, Verney remained silent.


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: NYtimes.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5472

UK TV Ad Formats Face Future Competition from Product Placement

UK communications regulator Ofcom and its political masters have given the thumbs-up to product placement on British TV - thereby conferring legality on a practice that has operated undercover for decades ... and not only on commercial stations, some say! The free-for-all will kick-off on 1 February 2011, with even radio muscling-in on the act with paid-for verbal references to brands and products.The liberalisation follows recent changes to EU broadcasting legislation. However, there are some exceptions to the new free-for-all ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2011 onward]

... with restrictions on the types of products that can be placed; limitations on the types of programmes in which products can be placed; and limits on the way in which products can be seen and referred to in programmes.

Major no-go areas for placements include children's and news programmes; also all UK-produced current affairs, consumer affairs and religious programmes.

Broadcasters will be required to display an onscreen product-placement logo in all programmes in which placements occur. It must appear for a minimum of three seconds at the start and end of shows, enabling viewers to identify which UK-produced programs feature 'placed' products. The logo must also appear after each ad break.

Commercial TV stations intending to feature product placements will launch an audience awareness campaign in the New Year. Overseen by Ofcom, the campaign will include short information slots within the advertisement breaks of popular programs.

Whilst PP will be hailed with glee by commercial broadcasters, it may get a chillier reception in other quarters - for example commercial production houses and creative studios - which could experience a significant falloff in revenues.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5455

FCC's Net Neutrality Vote: There May be Trouble Ahead ...

In the words of the Nat King Cole classic ...
"There may be trouble ahead
But while there's music and moonlight and love and romance.
Let's face the music and dance.
Before the fiddlers have fled
Before they ask us to pay the bill and while we still have the chance
Let's face the music and dance."

It's unlikely, of course, that Nat was crooning about the Federal Communication Commission's decision earlier this week to regulate US broadband carriers. On the other hand ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2011 onward]

... it's rare that net neutrality advocates and internet service providers are in agreement about anything!

On this occasion, however, there's zero dissent on either side of the fence that the Federal Communications Commission has created years of legal uncertainty by voting to regulate broadband carriers.

The FCC's oversight rules have yet to be published, although officials have said the order bans wireline providers from blocking or degrading content and from engaging in "unreasonable discrimination."

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski earlier opined that such discrimination could include paid prioritization, or fast-lane treatment for companies that pay extra, but the extent of that restriction isn't yet clear.

The order also bans wireless providers from blocking sites or applications that compete, but fails to impose a similar restriction on wireless carriers.

Even though the substance of the rules offers wireless carriers a great deal of leeway, some ISPs condemned the decision. They argue that the FCC's order could result in years of litigation because it's not clear that the agency is legally empowered to enact neutrality regulations.

Verizon warned in a company blog that the FCC's "assertion of authority without solid statutory underpinnings will yield continued uncertainty for industry, innovators, and investors."

That smackin' sound you hear in the background is the licking of lawyers' lips!


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: MediaPost.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5454

US Commerce Dept Rah-Rahs It for Online Commerce - and Consumer Privacy!

The Department of Commerce on December 16 issued a report detailing initial policy recommendations aimed at promoting consumer privacy online while ensuring the internet remains a platform that spurs innovation, job creation, and economic growth. The report outlines a dynamic framework to increase protection of consumers’ commercial data and support innovation and evolving technology. The Department is seeking additional public comment on the plan to further the policy discussion and ensure the framework benefits all stakeholders in the Internet economy. Says Commerce Secretary Gary Locke ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2011 onward]

“America needs a robust privacy framework that preserves consumer trust in the evolving internet economy while ensuring the web remains a platform for innovation, jobs, and economic growth.

"Self-regulation without stronger enforcement is not enough. Consumers must trust the internet in order for businesses to succeed online.”

Global online transactions are currently estimated at $10 trillion annually. Between 1998 and 2008, the number of domestic IT jobs grew by 26% – four times faster than US employment as a whole – with IT employment projected to increase another 22% by 2018.

The latest report, based on extensive public input and discussion, recognizes the growing economic and social importance of preserving consumer trust in the internet.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: US Commerce Dept
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5449

EU to Kill Cigarette Branding

New rules mooted by the European Commission last week could result in a comprehensive ban on the branding of cigarettes and other tobacco products. If the legislation is adopted, manufacturers will be forced to sell their products in generic plain packaging across the twenty-seven nation Union. Although cigarette-makers have been aware for some time of the impending threat, they will have to move fast to lodge any objections which must be filed by December 15. A decision is expected by February 2011, although a new law is unlikely to take immediate effect and ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2011 - 2015]

... it could take another five years before the law is enforced - especially if the tobacco companies carry out their threat to legally challenge the ruling.

UK health minister Andrew Lansley believes plain packs would de-glamourize the habit and deter young people from taking up cigarette smoking.

The Tobacco Manufacturers Association, unsurprisingly, disagrees: "We do not believe any plans for plain packaging are based on sound public policy, nor any compelling evidence."

The International Advertising Association is likewise opposed to the legislation. In a letter to the EU, Erich Buxbaum, IAA  vice-president and area director for Europe, warns: "All brands are registered trademarks. This could lead into a vast legal process - companies will sue the EC. They pay a lot of money every year for their trademarks."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5420

FTC to Pile-On Web Privacy Pressure in 2011

Whilst acknowledging that the Federal Trade Commission isn't currently calling for privacy legislation, chairman Jon Leibowitz said he hopes a new report will guide lawmakers and policymakers. However, Leibowitz warned he can envision supporting new laws in the future. "From my perspective, and I'm speaking only for myself, a legislative solution will surely be needed if the industry doesn't step up to the plate," he told reporters. He also drew attention to the ineffectuality of existing 'do not track' procedures, citing  ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2010 onward]

... behavioral advertising - or serving ads to web-users based on data collected about them whilst online. The report also also urges that site-owners' privacy policies should be streamlined and simplified.

Companies should make a greater effort to ensure that consumers are making informed decisions about allowing online tracking. States the report: "To be most effective, choices should be clearly and concisely described and offered when - and in a context in which - the consumer is making a decision about his or her data."

Predictably the Interactive Advertising Bureau opposes any attempt to legally enforce privacy. "At this time we believe our self-regulatory program is capable of providing the functional equivalent of do-not-track; thus there is no need for government regulation," counters Mike Zaneis, IAB senior vp and general counsel.

The FTC invites comments on the privacy report from interested parties up to January 31 2011.


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: MediaPost.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5423

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