October 18, 2002, 12:00 AM

The ERA moves its compliance self-certification to the web

ERA members can review and agree to marketing guidelines at retailing.org, then take an online course that results in certification that they comply with the group’s regulations.


The Electronic Retailing Association is moving its self-regulatory compliance certification to the web, the trade group announced at its annual convention this week in Las Vegas. Members can complete the process at www.retailing.org.

Members must first review and agree to marketing guidelines for certain areas including children’s products, continuity programs, telemarketing and advance consent as well as television, radio and online marketing and advertising. An interactive online training guide provides information as well as sample forms. Once members complete the training program, the site will guide them through a certification examination where they affirm that their advertising and marketing practices are in compliance with ERA guidelines. They are also required to register their DRTV and radio programs with the ERA by submitting tapes of their advertisements.

“Our goal is to simplify the self-regulatory process and make it as easy as possible for our members to get the information and guidance they need to ensure their advertising is in compliance,” says ERA CEO Elissa Matulis Myers. “These new web-based enhancements provide a turn-key resource for advertisers to easily identify critical parts of the ERA guidelines, identify areas for improvement, and self certify.“

If the ERA receives a complaint that a member is not in compliance with its guidelines, the matter is referred to the ERA`s Review Board. The Review Board evaluates the complaint and makes a determination about whether the advertisement adheres to the ERA guidelines. If it does not, member companies are given the opportunity to correct their advertisements to ensure compliance. If a member company refuses to comply with the ERA guidelines, a complaint is filed with the Federal Trade Commission or the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau.


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