Word of Mouth Marketing Association Announces Opening of Annual Living Ethics Project

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Living Ethics Project Calls for Review of WOMMA Ethics Code

The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) this week announced the opening of its Living Ethics Project, the annual, innovative review of the WOMMA Ethics Code. The Living Ethics Project is part of WOMMA's continued dedication towards defining and achieving ethical standards in word of mouth and social media marketing.

WOMMA was founded in 2004 on defining best practices and ethical standards for the word of mouth marketing industry. A central mission of WOMMA is to create an environment of trust between consumers and marketers, and WOMMA is consistently implementing new objectives and resources in order to achieve this.

Living Ethics Project
WOMMA's Living Ethics Project is the annual review of the WOMMA Ethics Code. The Living Ethics Project asks WOMMA members and the public to provide comments through the Living Ethics Blog about current recommendations and updates to the WOMMA Ethics Code.

The importance of the WOMMA Ethics Code and the Living Ethics Project is most notable in the recent FTC Guide changes. The FTC referenced and adopted WOMMA's guidance in several instances, looking favorably upon the WOMMA's Ethics Code and adopting WOMMA's suggestion that only "sponsored" communications should fall within the scope of the Guides. Therefore, adherence to the WOMMA Ethics Code is a critical first step for businesses and marketers in complying with the FTC Guides.

"The greatest value we can provide to our 300-plus members is helping them navigate the uncharted waters of social marketing. WOMMA takes great pride in not only equipping members with a venerable compliance 'how-to,' but also in the collaborative way we went about influencing policy, itself," said WOMMA's president Paul Rand, CEO, Zocalo Group.

Hot topics that will be worthy of discussion include but not limited to: contests, use of twitter, and geolocation marketing.

WOMMA members are asked to go to the Living Ethics Blog from Monday, November 1 to Tuesday, January 4, 2011 to submit comments, questions or concerns.

The WOMMA Board of Directors will take into consideration all comments and determine if changes need to be made to the WOMMA Ethics Code. Results will be publicly announced to the WOMMA membership via the web site and direct email.

WOM-COMM Ethics – Classes Start Dec. 6
WOMMA presents a new educational webinar series as part of its WOM-COMM online certificate program, titled WOM-COMM Ethics. The two-part webinar series will be held Dec. 6 and 8 at 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. CDT. WOM-COMM Ethics will teach participants the best practices for staying within the ethical boundaries of word of mouth's ever-developing landscape, while not compromising the impact of their marketing efforts. Joe Chernov, Director of Content, Eloqua, and Melissa Edwards, Associate Media Supervisor, Erwin-Penland, will act as moderators.

Presenters include Elisa Camahort , Co-Founder and COO, Blogher; Tony DiResta, WOMMA Legal Counsel & Partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP; Meghan Keaney Anderson, Senior Director, Communications, United Way of Mass Bay Inc.; Patrick Thoburn - Co-Founder, Matchstick; Emily Bader, Partner, Zocalo Group; and Ryan Bowling, Global Director of External Communications, Mars Inc.


WOMMA, http://www.womma.org, is the leading trade association in the marketing and advertising industries that focuses on word of mouth, consumer-generated and social media platforms -- or marketing techniques that include buzz, viral, community, and influencer marketing, as well as brand blogging. The organization is committed to developing and maintaining appropriate ethical standards for marketers and advertisers engaging in such marketing practices, identifying meaningful measurement standards for such marketing practices, and defining "best practices" for the industry.

Founded in 2004, WOMMA members include marketers and brands that use word-of-mouth marketing to reinforce their core customers and to reach out to new consumers, agencies that deliver word-of-mouth services and technologies, researchers that track the word-of-mouth experience and offline and online practitioners.

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