Chicago: The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) has issued a draft version of a new "ethics tool." It is designed to help clients and firms avoid any unethical campaigns before they occur.
The tool follows recent news that Edelman, a WOMMA member, was behind an improperly disclosed blogging campaign.
The tool is a "20 Questions" list that all involved in a campaign should ask to ensure that it is fully ethical. It includes questions on full disclosure of affiliations, honesty of the information provided in a campaign, and protecting young children from involvement in word-of-mouth campaigns.
The tool also encourages clients to question firms on their history of ethical word-of-mouth work.
WOMMA CEO Andy Sernovitz said that the list of questions has been in development for months, and that it was primarily drawn up by the 30 members of the WOMMA ethics committee. The group will accept public comments for two weeks before publishing a final version of the questions on November 20.
He argued that many ethical violations are due to ignorance on junior staffers' part, and that the tool, if properly used, should help end public ethical debacles.