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Advertising Code of Practice: Social Media

Advertising Code of Practice: Social Media

Advertising Code of Practice for Social Media

The Interactive Advertising Bureau of SA (IAB SA) is an advertising business organisation that develops industry standards, conducts research, and provides legal support for the online advertising industry.

At the beginning of October 2018, it introduced the draft guidelines for a Code of Practice to be used in South Africa to:

  • protect the consumer by encouraging brands to exercise ethical constraints on all paid social media communications; and
  • to benefit the industry with a clear code of conduct regarding the use of social media to advertise products and services.

The draft Advertising Code of Practice has been led by the IAB SA, The Advertising Regulatory Board (previously the Advertising Standards Authority) and Marketing Mix, in consultation with other industry bodies.

Feedback has now been called for on the draft code within the advertising industry.

"As always, we as an industry body felt passionate about working on this as an industry collective. I encourage all our members to carefully consider and comment on this groundbreaking document, so it represents an authoritative consensus,” said Paula Hulley, CEO of the IAB SA.

The Media Online reported on this issue on the 1st November:

This is a code written by the industry, for the industry, which will be objective and representative of all stakeholders.

“We are all unified in the common goal to reach our market in fresh, relevant and meaningful ways,” said Terry Murphy of The Marketing Mix. “This is the logical next step in the evolution of ethical advertising in South Africa.” Armed with this document, the marketing industry will be empowered to communicate authentically with consumers and thrive in the digital economy, building sustainable online brands in the process. Most importantly, it supports the creation of a transparent and trustworthy digital supply chain.”

The next step is a continued invitation to invite the industry to comment and share their feedback aligned with the timeline below, where the committee (made up of industry members) will review, amend and consolidate the final code for implementation mid-February 2019.

All stakeholders have until 24 January 2019 to submit their feedback and recommendations. Following this, the social code committee will consolidate and implement all relevant feedback. On 7 February 2019, The Advertising Code of Practice Social Media Guidelines will be finalised, with the view of it being in place and managed by the Advertising Regulation Bureau by mid-February.

Any queries can be directed to hello@iabsa.net

This is a great initiative and supports the efforts of all legislation protecting 'the man in the street' who accesses social media on a constant basis, often not being aware of poor standards of behaviour by unscrupulous marketers.

What are you doing to ensure you are using marketing information with integrity?

We all have access to other people's information - just have a look at your cellphone and email contacts, as well as any newsletter databases if you think you don't! Are you being responsible with that information, particularly when this info is held by companies? How you use it and how you protect it, is paramount.  Worldwide, the regulations regarding governance and compliance are getting more strict.

Let me know if you'd like a copy of the draft Guidelines.

If you need to audit your processes, your database integrity or anything else regarding the legal use of data, take time right now to put in a call to Kingsway Marketing.

Social Media Marketing vs Content Marketing

Social Media Marketing vs Content Marketing

Social vs Content

I enjoyed this post from the Content Marketing Institute’s website even though it is a few years old, because it speaks to definitive truth, that is truth which is well-defined and is still relevant today.

Many people think that social media marketing is the same as content marketing and that’s what Toby Murdock addresses in his article.

If you take the trouble to read this fairly long piece, not only will your knowledge be sharpened, but you’ll understand why we focus on content marketing.

Does your brand need some marketing? Contact us for a complimentary ‘Explore’ session!

By Toby Murdock published February 27, 2012

As I meet with brands and agencies, I still come across people who are totally unfamiliar with the term “content marketing.” And as I begin to explain it, they often respond, “Oh, brands publishing content? You mean social media marketing.”

Indeed, content marketing heavily involves social media.

And, of course, in social media, marketers use content to get their messages across.

But although there is plenty of overlap between content marketing and social media marketing, they are actually two distinct entities, with different

  • focal points,
  • goals, and
  • processes.

To help clear the confusion, let’s look at the major ways in which they differ:

Center of gravity

In social media marketing, the center of gravity — the focus of the marketing activity — is located within the social networks themselves.

When marketers operate social media campaigns, they are operating inside of Facebook, inside of Twitter, inside of Google+, etc. As they produce content, they place it inside of these networks.

In contrast, the center of gravity for content marketing is a brand website — whether it be a branded URL like AmericanExpress.com or a microsite for a brand’s specific product, like Amex’s Open Forum. Social networks are vital to the success of content marketing efforts, but here, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are used primarily as a distributor of links back to the content on the brand’s website — not as containers of the content itself.

Types of content

In social media marketing, content is built to fit the context of the chosen social platform: short messages in the 140 [now 280 since 2017 – Irene], characters range for Twitter; contests, quizzes, and games for Facebook, etc. Here, brands model their behavior after that of the individuals using the social networks.

On the other hand, in content marketing, the context of websites permits much longer forms of content. Brands can publish blog posts, videos, infographics, and eBooks, just to name a few formats. Here, brands model their behavior after that of media publishers.


While both social media marketing and content marketing can be used for a multitude of purposes, social media marketing generally tends to focus on two main objectives.

First, it is used for brand awareness — generating activity and discussion around the brand.

Secondly, it is used for customer retention/ satisfaction — brands can use social channels as an open forum for direct dialogues with customers, often around issues or questions that consumers have.

In contrast, content marketing’s website-based center of gravity enables it to focus more on demand generation. As quality content brings prospects to a brand’s site, brands can develop a relationship with the prospects and nurture them towards a lead conversion or purchase.

Evolution of online marketing

While I don’t know the ratio of brands that practise social media marketing compared to those that practice content marketing, I’d imagine it has to be somewhere around one thousand to one. Social media marketing is top-of-mind for most every marketing department, while content marketing is a (relatively) new term, and a new practice for many.

Yet, I think of the two strategies less as two isolated options and more as interrelated parts of marketing’s ongoing evolution.

The internet has unleashed a revolutionary ability for every brand to communicate directly with its customers — without the need for a media industry intermediary.

Social media marketing is the natural first step in this process: Access to users is direct (users spend tons of time on social networks), and content is generally formatted into shorter chunks, which makes the publishing process relatively easy.

But as brands become more familiar with their new role as publisher, the natural progression will be to move toward content marketing.

New Standards

Yes, the bar here is higher: In content marketing, brands must produce longer-form, higher-quality content and build audiences on their own site — they must become true media publishers. But the rewards and results are, arguably, more powerful.

Brands can engage more deeply with their customers through content marketing efforts. And by driving consumers to its own website, the brand has a greater opportunity to gain leads and move them down the conversion funnel.

As we all pioneer this new strategy of content marketing, a shared definition of what we do relative to approaches like social media marketing is invaluable.

So now your turn: In the comments, feel free to discuss your thoughts. Is this a definition you would use to distinguish the two disciplines? What’s missing?

Toby Murdock is co-founder and CEO of Kapost, which provides a content marketing platform that enables marketers to become publishers and win at the new game of marketing. Kapost customers include TripAdvisor, Mashable, Intel and Verizon. Toby lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and three daughters. Find him on Twitter @tobymurdock / @kapost.