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Proposed Legislation May Restrict Legal Advertising

2020 legislative update_featured

A bill has passed through committee in the Florida House of Representatives (PCB CJS 20-02) that would restrict the advertising of legal services. According to Florida House staff analysis, these changes prohibit legal advertisements from containing certain terminology or use of protected health information.

  • PCB CJS 20-02 passed a committee vote, now filed as H 7083.
  • Prohibits legal advertisements from using certain terminology or failing to include specified disclosures.
  • Violations subject to penalties under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Law firms advertising that there is recourse for bad prescription drugs may become more difficult in the state of Florida. The bill, H 7083, has overwhelmingly passed a critical subcommittee vote, which will add more advertising stipulations for legal advertising to the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices. A similar bill in the Senate, SB 1288, is still in committee and doesn’t appear to have any momentum. The only difference between the House and Senate bills is language focusing on disclosure of “claim amounts.”

This legislation comes on the heels of a 2017 survey by the Institute for Legal Reform (ILR). The ILR surveyed over a thousand adults currently taking one or more prescriptions a day. The survey found that a significant amount of the participants would reduce their dosage of a drug if they saw an advertisement about a lawsuit for injury caused by a medication they were taking. Nearly half of the survey respondents said they would definitely or probably stop taking the drug immediately after seeing the advertisement.

Legal advertising focused on pharmaceuticals may have the potential to affect viewers adversely, resulting in severe consequences. The findings of the 2017 study were confirmed in September of 2019 by the Federal Trade Commission. Through the government’s Adverse Event Reporting System, consumers stopped taking their prescription drugs after seeing commercials about litigation regarding those medications.

According to a legal brief about the proposed bill, H 7083 “prohibits legal advertisements from containing certain terminology and prohibits certain use, sale, or transfer of protected health information without specified authorization for purposes of soliciting legal services.” The brief goes on to describe some of the prohibitions and requirements:

  • Prohibits a person who submits a legal advertisement for publication, broadcast, or dissemination, or who pays for or otherwise sponsors a legal advertisement from:
    • Failing to clearly and conspicuously disclose the sponsor of the advertisement;
    • Failing to clearly and conspicuously disclose the award amount the client received after paying for legal services and costs if the advertisement includes information regarding the amount of a damage award obtained on behalf of a client;
    • Displaying government agency logos in a manner implying an affiliation with that agency;
    • Including terminology implying that the product has been recalled when it has not been;
  • Requires a legal advertisement to clearly disclose the warning, “Do not stop taking a prescribed medication without first consulting your doctor,” if the advertisement solicits clients who may allege injury from a prescription drug; and
  • Prohibits a person from using, obtaining, selling, transferring, or disclosing to another person without written authorization protected health information to solicit legal services.

The proposed bill also outlines the cause of action for anyone that suffers physical injury as a result of legal advertising, as well as action taken by the Department of Legal Affairs or state attorney.

Even though these bills may not pass during the 2020 session, they certainly are not dead. There is a good chance they will get passed in 2021. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. I can also provide you with a copy of the proposed bill and the state’s legal analysis.

 

 

 

Ginger Reichl Appointed National Student Advertising Competition Chair for the 4th District American Advertising Federation

Pinstripe Marketing is pleased to announce that its president, Ginger Reichl, has been appointed 2019-20 Chairperson of the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) for the Fourth District American Advertising Federation.

Each year, a sponsor provides more than 2,000 college students with a real-world case study and an outline overviewing its product and their current advertising plan. Students must learn about their product and research the brand’s competition in order to develop a new campaign plan for the company. The college chapter members then develop a comprehensive plans book and an accompanying 20-minute presentation. This new campaign strategy is then “pitched” by each team to a line of judges. The judging panel is comprised of professionals from the communications industry. Students from AAF college chapters from Florida and the Caribbean will compete in April 2020 and the winner will go on to compete in a semi-final round where the top eight compete at ADMERICA, the AAF national conference in June.

Ginger was a member of Florida State University’s NSAC team during her senior year in 1993 and says it was one of the best experiences of her college career. She later served as Fourth District NSAC Chair for several years prior to taking a hiatus from board service.

“I have a big soft spot for advertising education and the NSAC,” said Reichl. “Working with the AAF, district leadership, and the team advisors is always rewarding, but seeing the student’s work always leaves me energized and inspired. These are the best of the best in the next generation of advertising professionals.”

The 2018 NSAC sponsor is Adobe.

Max Dempster Wins 2018 Pinstripe Service Excellence Award

Ad 2 Tampa Bay’s immediate past president, Max Dempster, received the 2018 Pinstripe Service Excellence Award at the American Advertising Federation – Tampa Bay Chapter’s ADDY Awards held on February 21 at Armature Works. Presented annually by past recipients, the award recognizes the young professional who demonstrates the most outstanding contributions to Ad 2 Tampa Bay, the advertising industry, and the community.

Professional development has always been a passion for Dempster. He immediately volunteered for the education committee chair position when he joined Ad 2 Tampa Bay six years ago and subsequently worked in various executive board positions to focus on building his own knowledge as well as that of the members. Each year, he led the initiative to refine and enhance the chapter’s participation in the American Advertising Federation’s Achievement Awards competition which enabled the club to continue its National Club of the Year streak of seven years running. His leadership was recognized by AAF in 2018 when he earned District Club and President of the Year, and National Club and President of the Year honors.

“Max’s contributions to the local advertising industry go far beyond his involvement in Ad 2 Tampa Bay,” said Ginger Reichl, president of Pinstripe Marketing and former Ad 2 president. “He directly oversaw the creation of Tampa Bay’s inaugural Advertising Week that was officially recognized by several local government entities. His leadership is also acknowledged by his frequent invitations to speak at local colleges and universities.”

Dempster is a copywriter at Dunn&Co. in Tampa.

About Ad 2 Tampa Bay
Ad 2 Tampa Bay, Inc., an affiliate of the American Advertising Federation, is a non-profit organization of advertising professionals under the age of 32. As a 17-time National Ad 2 Club of the Year, the organization takes pride in providing both members and the community with quality educational programs, national award-winning public service campaigns, professional interaction, member employment services, fun-filled social events and much more. For more information, please visit www.ad2tampabay.org.

Checklist for Marketers Transitioning Their Position

You’ve been at your position for years and now you are moving on, perhaps to another job within the company or to another company entirely. This is a good time to start making a checklist as you transition out of your position and hopefully help someone new come on board.

Here is a checklist for a graceful exit and smooth transition:

  • Write your job description with bullet points of each task you perform (many will have several levels as you start with high level items and get more specific). Your list is likely much more comprehensive than anything found in the HR department.
  • Provide a list of tools and resources with accompanying login credentials, for instance:
    • Document management (Google, Dropbox, etc.)
    • Customer relationship management (CRM)
    • Web/domain management (registrar, hosting, email, etc.)
    • Social media
    • Digital marketing (Google AdWords/Analytics, Bing Ads, etc.)
    • Email distribution
    • Survey tools
    • Project management tools
    • Media subscriptions
    • Public relations/press release distribution sites
    • Civic and professional association memberships
    • Training
    • Stock photography
    • Awards
    • Vendors / Purchasing
  • Provide information about where to find key documents:
    • Marketing plan
    • Client/contact lists
    • Logos
    • Content (company/product/service descriptions, keyword lists, etc.)
    • Photo/video library
  • Current projects, status, budgets, deadlines, contacts
  • Passwords and physical keys
  • Contact your colleagues and vendors to let them know the news. This will reassure them that they will receive a new project or account manager who will do a great job. If your replacement has started and you are training her/him, take them on visits to introduce them
  • Set up a meeting with your supervisor to go over all the documents you’ve created so they can be another layer of informed support
  • Send cards to favorite contacts thanking them for a great relationship. If you promise to keep in touch, make sure to keep the promise
  • If possible, introduce your replacement to key contacts within your organization that you worked closely with or who were pivotal to your success: a passionate graphic designer who nailed projects every time, a web developer who was very detail oriented and a great communicator, and a mentor who you could bounce ideas off

Depending on your specific position, you’ll want to add to this list. You love the company you currently work for. You love your clients and coworkers. You want to see everyone succeed. The main goal is to make sure that the projects you are working on are transitioned so seamlessly, your clients won’t even know you’re gone!

Things to Consider When Hiring a Marketing Firm

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The marketing firm you choose will be in charge of your brand, so you need to make good decisions on who you hire.

When it’s time to hire a marketing firm, you have a lot of choices to pick from. There are more than 500 advertising agencies, public relations and digital marketing firms in the Tampa Bay area. Many of them are highly specialized, while others can offer a large suite of marketing services. It’s important to be prepared before handing the reigns over to a firm in charge of promoting your brand.

Some Important Questions, First

Going into a relationship with a marketing firm takes some homework on your part. A little business self-awareness goes a long way in understanding the type of relationship you’ll need with the firm.

  • Do you know what your brand is?
  • Who is your ideal client?
  • What geography do you cover?
  • Are your clients local or online?
  • Is there a budget in place to handle all marketing costs?
  • Have you set goals for your marketing?

If you don’t have an answer to those questions, work with your team to determine the answers before hiring a marketing firm.

 

Choosing a Local or National Firm

With all of the choices available locally, it’s rare to go out-of-state to hire a firm. The goal is to hire a firm that fits your needs exactly. There are local firms in the Tampa Bay area that carry a national presence and national companies with a local presence.

The choice really is more about what you prefer when hiring a service. Do you prefer meeting face-to-face? Or can your marketing be handled through video conferencing, email and phone calls? Both are effective ways to communicate and build very successful relationships. In our experience, having a good mix of each one leads to stronger relationships.

 

Setting the Search Criteria

When considering to hire a marketing firm, the following 10 things to consider should be used as a checklist.

  • Portfolio – The firm should impress you with their design and implementation.
  • Experience – A lack of experience could cost you money.
  • Industry Knowledge – Having a firm with industry knowledge reduces the learning curve for them regarding your business. Something to also consider is if their industry knowledge works against their ability to be creative or think outside the box.
  • Capabilities – Smaller firms offer more personalized service, yet may be limited in capabilities, but this is not always the case. Be sure to do your research and ask the right questions.
  • Business Savvy – A firm with solid business acumen will understand the big picture and not just work from project to project. They are more adept with problem solving, too.
  • Channel Expertise – Strong marketing firms understand the channel directions for most industries. This makes them better marketers. They are better at forecasting and seeing the next big thing on the horizon.
  • Technical Knowledge – Marketing is technology heavy. Both print and digital marketing are driven by advanced technologies. The firm you pick should know how to harness these technologies for successful campaigns.
  • Network – How extensive is their business network? These connections can be valuable assets.
  • Communication – Everyone is looking for fast and friendly. How about clear and concise? Honest and thoughtful? Those are special qualities, as well.
  • Personality – It’s a business relationship. Your personalities should mesh well together. What makes them unique is something that can differentiate your company from others.

Make sure each one fulfills your criteria. If no one fits it, then look at what’s really important and how many do fulfill those needs.

At Pinstripe, we have experience with companies across the United States—from entrepreneurs to the Fortune 500. We are passionate about creating tailored campaigns that generate results. Our team has decades of experience within a wide range of industries. Contact us today to learn more about how we can provide the best marketing experience for you.