135 Marketing Trends found for Corporate / Legal


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European Parliament Backs Standardized Food Labelling Scheme

European Union shoppers face a bewildering variety of processed-foods labelling - unsurprising given the plethora of products and languages within the economic bloc. A flaw exploited by many food manufacturers from within and outside the European Union. Last week, however, Euro-MPs backed plans for uniform food labelling within the EU, although rejecting as potentially alarmist "traffic light" colour-coding of foods perceived as unhealthy because they are high in fat, sugar or salt. Instead they opted for 'Guideline Daily Amounts' (GDAs), instead of red/amber/green warning labels.

But however slowly the Mills of God may grind, those of the European Union grind even slower ...
 

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 - 2013]

... in that last week's vote by MEPs is unlikely to lead to new food labels before three to five years have elapsed.

In the meantime, the new rules "make it clear that [the EU] won't stand for people being misled by food packaging". Key nutritional information, including salt, fat and sugar content, will have to be displayed on the front of the pack.

Country of origin is another area where MEPs and the European Commission feel that food labels can be misleading. They cite, for instance, Danish bacon, which is sometimes labelled "UK produce" even though the pigs were reared in Denmark.

Arguments are raging over how much information to give consumers on pack fronts. Food industry lobbyists fear an excessive administrative burden.

Legibility is also a key issue, with the EC proposing a minimum 3-millimetre font size for pack labelling.


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

Source: BBC.co.uk
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5284

FCC Move to Reclassify Broadband Cheered by Neutralists, Hissed by Big Media

 

In a predictable polarization of interests, the opposing armies of internet freedom-fighters and Big Media, have formed battle lines to attack/defend the Federal Communications Commission's decision to "consider" reclassifying broadband access as a Title 2 telecoms service. "Consider," mind - not actually do so - an option that just conceivably might - with a following wind - possibly lead to controlling Big Media's God-granted right to maximize the moolah it screws out of US consumers. Among those manning the trenches in support of the FCC is ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 - onward]

... Senator Jay Rockefeller (Democrat-West Virginia), chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation whose controversial battle-cry is that: "We need to develop [long term] consensus to update the law, further safeguard consumers, and spur universal broadband deployment."

In the facing trench are Republican stalwarts, Representative Cliff Stearns (Florida) and Representative Joe Barton (Texas) who wrote a joint letter to Democratic House leaders requesting a hearing "on the legal validity and policy consequences" of the plan - which they describe as a proposal "to regulate the internet."

Adds the duo: "With 95 percent of the country having access to broadband, and 200 million subscribers and counting, we do not see any urgency to legislate." 

The FCC proposes three alternative possibilities ...

  • To continue to treat broadband as an information service subject to Title I of the Communications Act [the staus quo].
     
  • To reclassify broadband as a Title II "telecommunications service."
     
  • The third alternative - which draws on a plan put forward last month by FCC chairman Julius Genachowski - is to reclassify broadband access as Title II while agreeing to forbear from many of the regulations applicable to telephone companies, including ones related to pricing.

Genachowski is pushing the latter proposal, the so-called "third way," as an avenue to "continue the same light-touch approach to broadband access policy that the agency has pursued for the past decade."

He believes - as do other supporters - that the third-way approach will restore the FCC's ability to enact neutrality regulations that would ban internet service providers from either degrading or prioritizing traffic.

It's not a view shared by AT&T senior evp Jim Cicconi, who called the FCC's decision "troubling and, in many respects, unsettling,"

He explains: "The internet is commonly defined as 'a network of networks,' and the FCC proposes to regulate broadband networks virtually end to end under a regulatory structure devised in 1934 for monopoly telephone networks. This is impossible to justify on either a policy or legal basis, and we remain confident that if the FCC persists in its course - and we truly hope it does not - the courts will surely overturn their action."

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!


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=5274

FCC's Oversight of High-Speed Internet Could Cost Over $62 Billion, Attack Dogs Warn

Big Media - the likes of AT&T, CBS, Comcast, Cox, NewsCorp, Time Warner Cable and T-Mobile - has launched a concerted scare campaign in a bid to scupper oversight of America's planned high-speed broadband system by the Federal Communications Commission. The opening salvo was fired by a report co-authored by the seemingly independent New York University Law School with an outfit called Entropy Economics - whose president Bret Swanson  is a former senior fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation.  This organization, by strange coincidence,  numbers among its membership such august enterprises as AT&T, CBS, Comcast, Cox, NewsCorp, Time Warner and T-Mobile. The report is silent as to these relationships ... although it atones for this with some strident scarifying ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 - 2015]

... as Business Week reports: "Proposed regulation of high-speed Internet service providers by the U.S. government could cost the economy at least $62 billion annually over the next five years and eliminate 502,000 jobs, according to the study released this week by New York University Law School.

"Broadband providers and related industries may cut their investments by 10 percent to 30 percent from 2010 to 2015 in response to additional regulation. At 30 percent, the economy might sustain an $80 billion hit, according to Charles Davidson, director of the law school's Advanced Communications Law & Policy Institute, which released the report on June 16.

If the FCC ogre intervenes in the sacred rite of screwing the consumer, darkly warns Bret Swanson, president of Entropy Economics who co-authored the study with Davidson, "there will be follow-on effects in the whole ecosystem. A diminution of investment by the big infrastructure companies will reduce network capacity, new services, and investment by all the ecosystem companies," such as application providers and device manufacturers."

Certain of the report's paymasters fear the FCC may strive to lower the price of high-speed Internet access for consumers. Business Week refers to a report dated May 28 in which Sanford C Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett notes that around one-third of Americans can't afford broadband access, which the new regulation could change.

His report kicks-off with the aphorism: "The road to Hell, it is said, is paved with good intentions."


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

Source: BusinessWeek.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5270

BBC Revamps Online iPlayer Service to Resolve Competition Issues

Following intensive lobbying by its commercial rivals, British public service broadcaster BBC is to open-up its iPlayer internet service to other broadcasters, notably NewsCorp's satellite monopoly BSkyB and ITV - the nation's largest free-to-air commercial broadcaster. The deal will enable viewers searching iPlayer for, say, top-rated ITV soap 'Coronation Street' to find the latest episode and click-through to view it on ITVPlayer. Growled Erik Huggers, director of the BBC’s future media & technology unit, through gritted teeth: “This is what the web was made for: to link to each other.” The upgraded free service will offer a redesigned interface enabling viewers to access  ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 onward]

...  programme recommendations and seamlessly integrate with with Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft’s instant messaging service.

Insists Huggers:“This is about the BBC driving more traffic to the broader ecosystem of on-demand players out there. There is no sharing of technology going on.” Other new features include:

  • A BBC ID which will allow greater personalisation based on what users have previously viewed, enabling them to save “bookmarks” of series or shows that they can quickly access from any PC or mobile.
     
  • Improvements to live viewing of broadcast TV online, an activity that has undergone “big growth”; also enhanced video picture quality, which will auto-adjust to available broadband speed.
     
  • A facility to search for shows across a wide variety of non-BBC websites - a move that would help to establish the iPlayer as the first place viewers visit to discover a wide range of long-form [as opposed to short-form YouTube-style] online video .
     
  • Traffic redirection via searches and programme listings to ITVPlayer, Channel 4’s 4oD, Demand Five and Arqiva’s SeeSaw .

The BBC's hope is that these improvements will make iPlayer a more regular destination for viewers, as opposed to a site they visit only to watch a programme missed when originally aired.
 


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

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5205

US Telecoms Law to be Overhauled to Incorporate the Web

Back in 1996 when the web was known as 'The Information Super Highway' and seen as the sole preserve of academics and nerdish geeks, Congress saw no need to make anything other than a passing reference to the new-fangled fad when it reviewed the US Communications Act. Fourteen years later two senior Democrat lawmakers - Senator John D Rockefeller [West Virginia] and Representative Henry A Waxman [California] aim to drag the bill kicking and screaming into the age of Facebook, Google and the iPad. Among the issues the lawmaking duo will address are ...

[Estimated timeframe:June 2010-onward]

 ... how the Communications Act meets the current needs of of the three parties involved: the US telecommunications industry, the Federal Communications Commission and the general public. This is the resultant sequential scenario:

  • The present uncertainties came under the spotlight in April when a federal appeals court ruled that the FCC had overstepped its authority in applying a segment of the Act to an internet service provider.
     
  • Earlier this month the court's ruling provoked the FCC into introducing a plan to reclassify broadband internet service, currently classified as an 'information service' and therefore lightly regulated.
     
  • Under the change, broadband provision would be classified as a telecommunications service, analogous to a standard phone service, and bringing it under the jurisdiction of the FCC.
     
  • The reclassification would give the Commission the authority to implement portions of its recently released National Broadband Plan, as well as to enforce net neutrality, the concept that internet service providers must provide consumers with equal access to all types of content and applications.
     
  • Internet service providers have broadly opposed the reclassification, arguing that the FCC is already legally empowered to ensure fair competition among internet service providers. ISPs also are leery because the reclassification could give the FCC. the authority to regulate rates charged to consumers.
     
  • Telecommunications firms point out that a lack of legislation to date has not stifled competition among internet companies.

Nevertheless, AT&T svp James Cicconi declared that hiscompany welcomed the Congressional review. “The FCC’s legal authority should be decided by the Congress itself, and not by applying to the internet a set of onerous rules designed for a different technology, a different situation, and a different era,” he said.

Consumer bodies also welcomed the news. “The world has changed considerably since 1996,” astutely observed Gigi B Sohn, president and co-founder of the Public Knowledge group.

 


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=5204

UK Competition Regulator Okays TV-Broadband Alliance

The Office of Fair Trading, Britain's secondary competition regulator, has given the green light to a controversial joint venture between the UK’s leading broadband providers, the BBC and its commercial rival ITV. The duo, together with BT and TalkTalk, plan to launch an internet-connected successor to their extant digital-TV platform Freeview. But the project is not to the liking of Rupert Murdoch ...
 

[Estimated timeframe:Q1 2011-onward]

... whose BSkyB has spearheaded opposition to the venture (codenamed Project Canvas) along with US-controlled cable corporation Virgin Media which trades only in the UK.

The US duo have questioned the BBC Trust’s handling (and the BBC’s role in funding) the venture. While TV technology groups Sony, Pace and Cisco are also voicing concerns.

Starting life as a joint venture between the BBC, ITV and BT, Canvas has since been joined by TalkTalk, Channel 4, RTL Group's Five and Arqiva, a broadcast infrastructure provider which also runs SeeSaw, an online video site.

Given the involvement of the telco titans, the venture could become the dominant platform for internet services on TV.

But, says the OFT’s director of mergers Sheldon Mills: “Our investigation has confirmed that the [joint venture] partners, including the BBC, do not intend to transfer an existing business into the JV. Therefore, regardless of the potential significance of Project Canvas JV for the future of internet connected television, the notified proposals do not give rise to a merger qualifying for substantive investigation by the OFT.”

The BBC's ruling Trust, which gave Canvas a provisional green-light in December, has been waiting for the OFT’s ruling before giving the BBC its full backing.

Originally scheduled to launch commercially before the end of 2010, the protracted regulatory scrutiny to which Canvas has been subjected will almost certainly delay its debut beyond the Christmas sales season.


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

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5198

Transatlantic Probe into Google 'Data-Harvesting' Practices

Although it is not known if they acted in concert, German and US authorities this week united against Google following the latter's admission it had recorded communications sent over unsecured wireless networks in people’s homes. Privacy campaigners condemned the action as "one of the most massive surveillance incidents by a private corporation that has ever occurred”. German commissioner for data protection Peter Schaar has demanded a "detailed probe", while in the US the Federal Trade Commission is expected to launch an inquiry.

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 onward]

Commissioner Schaar is unconvinced by Google's claim that the collection of data was an accident, describing the incident as “highly unusual”.

Continued Schaar: “One of the largest companies in the world, the market leader on the internet, simply disobeyed normal rules in the development and usage of software.”

Marc Rotenberg, leader of the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Centre in Washington DC is of like mind. “It is unprecedented vacuuming of WiFi data by a private company. Can you imagine what would happen if a German corporation was sending cars through Washington sucking up all this information?”

In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office said that Google appeared to have breached the Data Protection Act.

Hands aloft in pious innocence, the Mountain View colossus claimed it it had been using a fleet of camera-equipped Street View vehicles, which photograph the group’s imaging services, and had been at the same time using the cars to assemble a database of electronic WiFi addresses intended to improve the functioning of its maps and other location services.

It goes without saying, of course, that this monumental goof wasn't the responsibility of Google's Top Brass. Nosirree, the fault lay down the line, pinned well and truly on the minions!

The project leaders, it seems, overlooked that the vehicles were also recording snippets of activity on adjacent WiFi networks.

“We didn’t want to collect this data in the first place and we would like to destroy it as soon as possible,” said Google’s abject PR hack Peter Barron. The data in question had never been available to outsiders, he insisted.

It is unlikely his explanation will satisfy privacy authorities on either side of the Atlantic and a prolonged investigation seems inevitable. Probably followed by legislation.


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

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5194

UK Regulator to Probe Nation's Outdoor Advertising Market

The "highly concentrated centre" that comprises Britain's outdoor advertising market (estimated annual worth £600 million), is set to undergo a fullscale investigation by the government's Office of Fair Trading. The watchdog will particularly focus on commission payments passing between site-owners and media agencies. Of especial interest to the regulator are  ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q4 2010 onward]

... the two biggest specialist buying shops Aegis Group-owned Posterscope and WPP Group's Kinetic. Also under the OFT's magnifying glass will be the dominant outdoor media-owners JCDecaux, CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel International and Primesight.

Declares the OFT's senior director of infrastructure Heather Clayton: “The cost of all forms of advertising is reflected in the price consumers pay for goods and services.”

“This market study into outdoor advertising will take a look at whether the market works well in terms of offering firms and local authorities deals that are fair, competitive and transparent.”

According to the OFT, the sector has a “complex, multi-levelled structure” which is “highly concentrated at the levels of the specialist buyers and outdoor media owners”.

The probe will determine whether the current structure has distorted the market or prevented others from entering, with particular regard to commission payments between media owners and agencies, plus the contracts via which local authorities lease property to billboard operators.

Reveals a statement issued by the regulator: “The OFT understands that some contracts might contain clauses that prevent local authorities from dealing with other outdoor media owners or with advertisers directly. This may be to the detriment of local authorities and therefore the taxpayers that fund them.”
 


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

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5192

Alcohol Marketing Online: Consumer Watchdogs Seek FTC Probe

There is increasing concern among US consumer bodies that alcohol vendors online have resorted to inappropriate tactics to target the under-21 market via video games and social media. Campaigners are urging both the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys-general to investigate whether liquor companies are using behavioral targeting techniques - including the profiling of web users - to reach users who aren't yet legally permitted to drink.

[Estimated timeframe:2010-onward]

A report co-authored by university professor Kathryn Montgomery, Center for Digital Democracy director Jeff Chester, and Berkeley Media Studies Group's Lori Dorfman, calls on the FTC to investigate the digital marketing techniques used by alcohol companies.

Urges the report: "The FTC and other regulators need to determine whether alcohol beverage ad targeting is reaching specific young people and their networks, providing a complete picture of the industry's online data collection practices - including whether their privacy policies are accurate."

David Jernigan, associate professor at Baltimore's famed Johns Hopkins Hospital, says the study raises troubling issues. "Internet marketing immerses the audience in a world that has a single message - and the message in this case is: It's good to drink."

It's a theme Jernigan believes should be independently challenged: "We need the FTC to use its power and, failing that, for the state attorneys general to use their power to start inquiring about what the industry is doing."

Meantime, the booze industry's loins are girded to contest this latest challenge to its members' constitutional right to screw a few billion more bucks from the US public.

Self-regulatory group The Distilled Spirits Council of the US insists that its member companies "adhere to a rigorous set of content and placement guidelines for advertising and marketing materials in all media including online and digital communications channels."

It also claims that the industry's "longstanding commitment to responsible advertising regardless of the medium has been commended by the FTC and industry watchdogs."


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=5188

Diabetes Experts Tell UK Government to Impose 'Total Ban' on Child-Targeted Junk Food Ads

Addressing the Royal College of Physicians' conference in Edinburgh, Dr Scott Ramsey led a demand by over one hundred diabetes experts that the UK government impose a "total ban" on all forms of "unhealthy" food ads that target children. The physicians argue that current restrictions on TV advertising during children's programmes should be extended to all media, including newspapers, magazines online and billboards.

[Estimated timeframe:2010-onward]

Said Dr Ramsey: "Rates of obesity and diabetes are continuing to increase at alarming rates and pose one of the most serious health challenges of this time. In response to this situation, diabetes experts from across the UK have come together to call on the Scottish and UK governments to demonstrate greater leadership in tackling this crisis.

"In particular we believe that ... this should involve tighter regulation of the food and drink industry and the extension of restrictions on 'less healthy' food and drink advertising in children's television programmes to all forms of advertising aimed at children."

According to the experts, preventing an increase in the number of youngsters who are obese would also cut the risk of more people developing Type 2 diabetes.


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

Source: mad.co.uk
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5186



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