July espresso briefing: Reed Smith bring you up to date with WOM and the law

June 21, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Posted in Events, News | 1 Comment
Tags: Ethics, event, online law, reed smith, social media law, wom uk, word of mouth law

Word of mouth and the law can be a confusing and intimidating area. What are brands and agencies really liable for in the social space? How is this changing and what must we prepare for in the future?

Here at WOM UK we know this is an important but confusing area, so we’re delighted to announce that we have secured a free legal and regulatory advisory service for WOM UK members, to be provided by international law firm Reed Smith’s advertising compliance team, ReACTS.

WOM UK members shall be able, from 7th July, to call the ReACTS team for legal and regulatory advice for up to 15 minutes, at no charge. Advice can be provided in relation to all aspects of advertising and marketing law, including intellectual property, defamation, consumer protection, privacy, social media, the advertising codes and contract law.

And we’re kicking off our alliance with an Espresso Briefing on Wednesday 7th July, 8.30-10.30am, on ‘Do you know your flog from your blog?: The benefits and legal risks of Word of Mouth Marketing in Social Media’

Partner Marina Palomba and Associate Christopher Hackford will speak at the beautiful Reed Smith offices in Broadgate Tower on the opportunities for word of mouth marketing in a social media context and the risks associated with such opportunities. The seminar will include analysis of the Consumer Protection Regulations and defamation law, and discussion on moderation, privacy and advertising to children.

With breakfast at 8.30am, the presentation from 9-10 and discussion and networking until 10.30am, the session is FREE but bound to book out fast so register now by emailing [email protected]

See you there!

WOM UK events: Barak Libai, Mark Earls, Rory Sutherland and more…

April 6, 2010 at 11:37 am | Posted in Events | Leave a Comment
Tags: wom uk, word of mouth, Events, rory sutherland, mark earls, paul marsden, barak libai, david brennan, richard anson

We hope you all had a great Easter and are planning on keeping your WOM education and networking up this spring by coming along to some of the fantastic events we have lined up.

Helmed by the world’s best consumer psychologists, academics, authors and practitioners on WOM, both morning and evening sessions are FREE to all:

  • 5-8pm 27th April: Prof Barak Libai, from the Marketing Faculty of Tel Aviv University, shows how to assess the value of customers’ word of mouth
  • 27th May: Richard Anson, Founder and CEO of Reevoo, talks about the value for brands of independent review sites online
  • 10th June: Mark Earls, author of Herd, talks about how to change mass behaviour by harnessing our true nature
  • 24th June: David Brennan, Research and Strategy Director of Thinkbox, discusses how TV can be integrated with WOM
  • 2nd September: Dr Paul Marsden, of Viralculture, discusses the latest WOM consumer psychology
  • 16th September: Dr Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group UK, explains how to build in talkability to NPD

Put these events in your diary now, email [email protected] to register (first come first served), and keep an eye on here for more details as they emerge.

We’re thrilled to have secured such an eminent and eclectic lineup and look forward to seeing you there – and if you enjoy the events, please think about becoming a WOM UK member – the only way we can continue to provide the best, free, social-spirited WOM programme in the UK.

March Espresso Briefing: Like Minds explain why Spreadability Beats Reach

March 16, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Posted in Events | 2 Comments
Tags: wom uk, social media event, drew ellis, scott gould, like minds, word of mouth event

Join us on Thursday 25th March, 8.30am, for some free breakfast, WOM food for thought and excellent networking opportunities.

One month on from their infamous Like Minds 2010 conference, which saw social experts such as Chris Brogan, John Bell and Olivier Blanchard discuss their vision of a people to people future for brands, co-founders Scott Gould and Drew Ellis take over our monthly WOM UK breakfast event to present the learnings and outcomes from the debates so far.

In their presentation, Scott and Drew will be looking at:

  • How spreadability is beating reach: The numbers behind Like Minds and how they have made Like Minds such a phenomenon in a very short space of time. The virtual attendance, the attention, all on a small budget that focuses on a spreadable message rather than direct reach.
  • How teams of people are beating factories of employees: The way that people-to-people means partnership rather than sponsorship, and how people are getting behind messages that bring shared benefit.

This will be an excellent opportunity both for Like Minds attendees to continue the discussions started back in March, and for those who couldn’t make it to get an overview of the insights from the event, and become part of the ongoing community of brands and practitioners interested in word of mouth and social approaches.

Like Minds is an organisation dedicated to Making Action Accessible. It was founded in 2009 amidst the boom of social media, where communication was drastically changing, and knowledge was overflowing – creating both the opportunity and the necessity for the organisation to act and turn our ideas into reality. Their mission is to create a platform where participants can join leading thinkers and doers in order to inspire one another and make those ideas happen, all on a level that is accessible both financially and structurally.

The event will last from 8.30-10.30am and be hosted at Porter Novelli, 31 St Petersburgh, Place, London W2 4LA. Places are free but you must pre-register with Julian to attend. We look forward to seeing some like minded folk there next week!

Social media self-regulation code proposed for the UK

March 10, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Posted in Ethics | 3 Comments
Tags: AA, ASA, CAP code, IAB UK, social media advertising, social media regulation, wom uk

As reported by IAB UK, “the advertising industry has come together to recommend an extension of the self-regulatory rules for non-broadcast media (known as the ‘CAP Code’)”.

The recommendation, driven by the Advertising Association (AA) suggests that the existing code, administered by the ASA, be extended from paid-for online space to cover advertisers’ own spaces as well as independent sites.

It’s a logical next move in the ‘ethics and transparency’ debate, and something that advertisers have long been calling out for. But it remains to be seen exactly what the code will cover, and how those regulations will be implemented, especially when entering the realm of independent consumer word of mouth.

It’s pretty clear that the code’s remit will cover blatant advertising and won’t try to tackle more subtle WOM engagement campaigns – but with the stated intention of ensuring that online all marketing activity will be ‘responsible, legal, honest and truthful’, there’s bound to be some grey areas and overlap.

For example, look at incentivisation by brands wanting to get people online to talk. Many people equate their activity in social media with chatting in the pub with friends, so any consciousness of their responsibilities to the code would require a big change in outlook. If you are handed free chocolate outside the tube, do you expect to have to tell your friends a disclaimer before raving about it in the office? Total brand transparency is essential in this space but peer to peer transparency is complex.

There are issues raised here that need thought and public discussion as much as rules, and we could certainly learn from some of the debate around the FTC Guidelines being instituted in the US.

What do you think? We’ll keep you updated as more details emerge…

Do you know the score with UGC and the law?

February 23, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Posted in Ethics, Events | 1 Comment
Tags: internet law, moderation, social meida law, tempero, ugc, wom uk

Companies used to carefully controlled brand imagery and tone of voice can find user generated content a very scary thing. Our discussions with companies, journalists and agencies have shown that there’s lots of confusion as to where the boundaries lie in terms of moderation, engagement and the legal rights around content created by people about and around a brand.

That’s why WOM UK is delighted to be contributing to ‘UGC and the Law’, a new eGuide produced by community experts Tempero:

“We believe our eGuide is the first time anyone’s pulled together the range of UK guidance out there on which laws might impact social media activity that involves brands hosting or submitting content to interactive environments into a handy little book format.

The guide is aimed at brands and public sector organizations about to start or already running their own sites (like forums, blog comments) or branded pages (like Facebook, YouTube), and includes quotes, anecdotes, and advice from some of our clients and contacts in the industry.”

President of WOM UK Molly Flatt has added her comments on the complexities of legislating free speech, and how the UK can learn from the debates around the FTC Guidelines recently released in the US. Molly will be attending the launch of the eGuide at the Tempero offices in central London tomorrow, Wednesday 23rd February, from 6.30pm, answering questions on the issue and debating with other speakers such as John Robinson from the NHS and Paul Wakely from the BBC.

If you’re interested in coming along book your place here.

WOM UK need your word of mouth case studies

February 11, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Posted in Case studies | Leave a Comment
Tags: australia, new zealand, social media case studies, uk, wom uk, word of mouth case studies

New Zealand based word of mouth agency The Village Square have asked us to help garner the best and latest case studies of UK WOM excellence – especially those that reflect true ‘consumer involvement’, whereby brands build a tribe of advocates who love to get invovled in experiences and create content on their behalf.

We’ve already sent them the likes of We Are Social for Marmite, iCrossing for Toyota, the Oxfam G20 Voice project and 1000heads for Nokia, but it would be great to crowdsource the favourites of the WOM UK network. Obviously, those submitted will get some great visibility abroad.

And in return, TVS have promised to send us the cream of the WOM crop from New Zealand and Australia, so members can look forward to receiving those links and downloads soon.

So, link to your own (or favourite) case studies below or send them to [email protected].

February Espresso Briefing: James Whatley presents The Best WOM Case Studies of 2010…so far

February 8, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Posted in Case studies, Events | Leave a Comment
Tags: 1000heads, espresso briefing, james whatley, social media case studies, wom case studies, wom uk

Fed up with all the theorising about word of mouth and want to really know who’s doing it well and how? Eager to see how WOM is already evolving for big businesses in 2010?

Well register now for our next Espresso Briefing on Wednesday 24th February at 8.30am, when James Whatley, Engagement Director for leading WOM agency 1000heads, will be looking at six of the best WOM Case Studies of 2010 so far.

As someone with a longstanding background in the WOM space both as a practitioner and a blogger brands have been eager to woo, James works with 1000heads clients such as Nokia, Canon and P&G to craft effective and impactful consumer engagement.

He says “We’re already six weeks into 2010 and although we were promised jetpacks, what we have been given instead is some outstanding examples of how to fully leverage WOM in a modern campaign strategy. Cross touch-point, cross company and cross passions.” In his presentation, he’ll consider:

  • What does true WOM success mean?
  • Six of the best case studies of the year
  • How WOM is evolving into the new decade and how brands can get involved

The event is FREE to both Members and Non-Members and will take place from 8.30am – 10.30am at GolinHarris, Fox Court, 14 Gray’s Inn Road, London, WC1X 8WS, with plenty of time for breakfast, networking and conversation around the presentation itself. Pre-registration is essential, so please email [email protected] to secure your place.

This event is kindly sponsored by

Join WOM UK at Like Minds 2010

February 2, 2010 at 11:53 am | Posted in Events | Leave a Comment
Tags: drew ellis, john bell, like minds 2010, molly flatt, scott gould, wom uk, womma

WOM UK is by logistical necessity rather London-centric, so we’re delighted to be speaking – and listening – at the Like Minds 2010 conference in Exeter this month.

Taking place at the Exeter Conference Centre on Friday 26th Febraury, Like Minds is the brainchild of Scott Gould and Drew Ellis, who are determined to bring world-class thought leadership on the subject of ‘People to People: The New Social Business’ to everyone in a friendly, non-political and provocative way. There will be six keynote speakers, including John Bell, President of our sister organisation WOMMA, 18 panelists, including WOM UK President Molly Flatt, and 6 moderators to ensure that the sessions really are conversations.

This should be a rare opportunity to meet global experts, local leaders, and like-minded individuals from diverse walks of life, so book now if you’re interested – tickets are running out fast. And leave us a comment or a tweet if you’re coming and would like to hook up with Molly to talk about word of mouth, WOM UK, or indeed the joys of Exeter Cathedral.

WOM UK collaborate with WOM Japan

January 20, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Posted in News | Leave a Comment
Tags: japan, japan social media, wom j, wom uk, word of mouth marketing

Word of mouth marketing is an industry which, thanks to social media, crosses geographical and cultural barriers regardless of the brand or agency. That’s why, alongside focusing on insight and education about the UK WOM scene, we keep a strong global outlook; as partners to WOMMA we have strong links with the US and invite thought leaders from across Europe and America to identify mutual discoveries, differences and trends.

Global Web Index‘s Global social web involvement map

So we were delighted to meet with two key members of WOM Japan this week (for those of you who can speak Japanese, this is their blog) – Meri Yasuda from innovative content creators Dai Nippon Printing Co and Shin’ichi Miyajima from the Digital Content Association of Japan. WOM J have also recently aligned themselves with WOMMA and it was a great opportunity to share stats, case studies and observations about which social platforms are driving conversation online, how offline and online WOM are merging, and which brands are the forerunners in effective WOM activity.

With particular points of interest being the rise of mobile and geo-location, and the shifting landscape of WOM ethics and legislation, it was clear that there is a great need for closer collaboration between global WOM communities. So let us know below if you have any particular queries or areas of interest for WOM J’s directors and members, as we hope to feature a presentation from WOM J here in London soon.

Exclusive download of WOMMA 09 Summit materials

January 14, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Posted in Case studies, Events, Measurement, Research | Leave a Comment
Tags: Research, social media case studies, wom uk, womma, word of mouth case studies

Last November’s Summit organised by our US partners WOMMA was one of the most exciting industry idea-sharing and -storming sessions of the year; a collision of brand case studies, new research and trends and academic debates that sparked some deep investigation into where word of mouth marketing currently stands.

WOM UK President Molly attended and posted an overview of what went on, but we’re delighted to announce that all WOM UK members can now download the decks presented by the keynote speakers, along with live videos from the general sessions,  from the WOMMA Member Center here.

All you need is your WOMMA library username and password, provided to every WOM UK member when they join. If you’ve lost track of yours, email Julian and he’ll send it over. And if you don’t have one? Well, joining WOM UK could be just the New Year’s resolution you need…

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