The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Compliance

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Strony od The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Compliance v2-3

What You'll Learn

  • Top compliance risks to monitor in your creative production process
  • Role-specific advice for maintaining brand requirements and oversight
  • How to build a strong marketing compliance program

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Why Marketing Compliance for Creative Teams Isn’t Just About Trademark Enforcement Anymore

For many creative teams today, “compliance” is either just one more roadblock in the constant battle to get marketing campaigns launched on time or an attempt to wrangle in rogue logo or branding use across the internet (or, let’s be honest, often inside one’s own company.)

In today’s marketing environment, however, marketing compliance has moved far beyond just trademark attribution and copyright designations (but these are important too!). In fact, 78% of surveyed marketing teams said their work was subject to at least one type of brand or industry compliance requirements.

Properly managing brand integrity across channels is also growing competitive differentiator, too: today’s consumers cite brand transparency as a major purchase motivator across industries, from apparel to food to technology.

Marketing compliance encompasses the full internal capacity that a marketing or brand team has to comply with the law. The way that marketing and brand content flows between collaborator and approval decisions is now just as scrutinized as the language and visuals contained in content itself. That means that the systems, processes,

and tools used during the planning, content production, and distribution and content delivery steps of a marketing campaign are all fair game for compliance oversight. Just as importantly, this capacity also extends to the actions of any brand or advertising partners coordinating campaign promotions.

Managing compliance processes throughout the marketing “supply chain” can get complicated fast, especially when marketing teams are juggling constant deadlines. There are just too many multimedia content types, distribution channels, and collaborators to monitor.

However, demonstrating marketing compliance doesn’t have to be a burden on your team. In this ebook, we’ll cover the most common areas of oversight and how to make use of your existing marketing tools to provide needed compliance information for you.


4 Common Compliance Oversights by Brands

It’s easy to point to major instances of fraud, financial misconduct, and false advertising as ways that brands are intentionally skirting the law and throwing due diligence out the window in order to deceive consumers or their shareholders.

Yet, more often than not, it’s unintentional, simple employee actions or, more commonly, an overall lack of formal internal oversight programs that lead to major marketing compliance headaches. It’s not ill intent - it’s simply ignorance of the interconnected controls that need to be in place. That is, until internal holes in compliance reach the public or press.

Core areas of compliance risks include:

Group 3401 Not Properly Securing Customer or Brand Data

No one wants to get hacked. But what about when the call is coming from inside the house? Many of the risks around client, consumer, and advertising data come from a breakdown in internal self-regulation.

In fact, 75% of large organisations find that data breaches come not from hackers or bad actions, from simply from staff-related errors. In one example, an independent research found that marketing firm Exactics had unintentionally exposed over 340 million records on a publicly accessible server a completely preventable headline.

As marketing data aggregators also work in the background of many apps and plugins marketing teams rely on every day, unforeseen weaknesses in data sharing between apps and how that data is then sold can undermine even the most diligent intentions.

Combating this at a minimum should start by selecting tools and apps that offer third-party compliance verification, controlled guest access, and use endpoint security platforms built for cloud systems.

Group 3502 Not Providing Proper Product Disclosures

False advertising has taken on new legs with multi-channel digital campaigns. For example, major agency Deutsch LA and its client Sony were slapped with a hefty fine from the FTC after running video advertisements that demonstrated remote and cross-platform features in specific games that did not end up containing those features upon the console’s launch a major draw for consumers to buy the system.



It’s not clear whether the misrepresentation was intentional or a lack of review between Sony product designers and Deutsch’s creative team. Whatever the motivation might have been, what is clear is that due diligence processes at and between the agency and its client failed to resolve the issue prior to the campaign’s distribution-and led to many partial refunds to consumers by Sony.

The FTC made it clear that even if Sony did not know about Deutsch LA’s tactics that they should have known-meaning this would not have happened with the existence of a formal agency-client review process that was clearly missing.

Companies need to be reminded that if they make product promises to consumers — as Sony did with the “game changing” features of its PS Vita — they must deliver on those pledges

- Jessica Rich, Head of the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau.

Group 3803 Not Pre-Approving Brand Content and Communication

Social media is the great builder and destroyer of brands. Who can forget when Oreo basically won the 2013 Super Bowl by putting up a cheeky, rapid-fire social ad referencing the broadcast blackout in a matter of minutes. It’s also easy to drum up examples of employees getting fired over committing unintentional social media faux pas on their company’s digital domains or writing inflammatory posts that don’t reflect the values of their company.

Maintaining proper brand language, especially on social media, isn’t just the role and risk shouldered by social media managers or copywriters it’s everyone’s responsibility.

For example, Tesla CEO Elon Musk once settled with the SEC over a series of misleading tweets that implied Tesla had the funding to take the company private, dramatically affect its stock prices and angering most of its shareholders.

Regardless of keyboard-happy CEOs, pre-approving content according to brand language can be especially tough to balance with the rapid, ever-flowing nature of engagement. The gold standard is a well-structured, yet agile review process that can capture social campaign content natively from each platform and route it for approval and posting in a structured, auditable fashion.



Path 3604 Not Being Transparent with Brand Partnerships

From the Kardashians to micro-influencers, everyone is throwing down in the brand sponsorship game. As more consumer brands leverage social media and celebrity influencers as representatives for specific, targeted campaigns, they’re wading into murky waters of representing influencers as independent consumers rather than paid spokespeople.

In fact, clothing brand Lord & Taylor became one of the first brands to be sued by the FTC when it partnered with a large number of brand influencers to promote its apparel online without proper disclosure that those promotions were paid advertisements.

Brand partnerships should be setting more detailed guidelines for product disclosures and product usage, but also demonstrating more structured oversight over partnership content development.

The methods by which social images and copy are approved or distributed, sponsored products are labelled or tagged, and designs are licensed to co- branding partners all matters it’s not just about using a “sponsored” tag for consumers.

In all of these examples, properly following brand guidelines was only half the battle. Properly communicating them to the creative team, consumers, and brand partners and demonstrated that that communication actually occurred should have been a built-in part of ad and brand communication planning, creation, and review.


Top Challenges to Implementing a Proper Marketing Compliance Strategy

Despite being architects of complex digital advertising campaigns, many creative teams still put up with project feedback methods that are typically problematic for auditing: email, hard copy printouts, sticky notes, etc. So why is actually creating compliant creative production processes such a blind spot for creative teams?

Group 73


  • —  Unclear regulations for new media formats

    Marketing departments are producing more content for more marketing channels at a faster rate than ever before and the regulatory guidelines for advertising and distributing content on many of these platforms and channels haven’t yet caught up with their popularity.

  • —  Interconnected content formats with disconnected approval workflows

    With so many mediums, marketing assets created for one campaign or channel are now repurposed and reformatted for omnichannel use. Although these assets are often related to the same goal, each format means assets might flow through completely different production and approval workflows and teams that are frequently disconnected from each other.

  • —  More collaborators & more reviewers

    Given the breadth and reach of today’s multi-channel campaigns, the number of stakeholders involved in sign off has the potential to increase exponentially. More reviewers need access to and markup abilities on content in native formats while still seeing all campaign elements in one place. Security, storage space, workflow, and access policies must change in response without hampering campaign delivery timelines.

  • —  Version Sprawl Across Systems

    Even when physical or email feedback is transformed into digital assets, a versioning problem across content systems and teams quickly presents itself. Controlling content versions across systems, file formats, and collaborators makes marketing compliance a particularly challenging task.

  • —  Poor Project Archival

    Having an auditable record of marketing activities is simple with print production; digital and omnichannel marketing is another story. Maintaining a clear history of who created, accessed, and approved specific assets and systems-and which audiences saw those assets on which channels is a complex web of compliance monitoring.

With these challenges, marketing teams experience the daily tension between quickly producing quality creative content across channels and ensuring that content production for all of these channels complies with internal and external brand playbooks and industry guidelines. For teams focused on pushing the envelope and chasing customer engagement across channels, ensuring compliance can be an afterthought.


How Marketing Compliance Impacts Each Marketing Team Member’s Creative Production Tasks

With compliance risks coming in from every corner of the marketing ecosystem marketing compliance can no longer be just a “Send It to Legal” for review in the final stages of marketing campaign planning.

Collaborative, integrated marketing campaigns means compliance needs to be baked into everyone’s daily processes from the start. Here’s what each marketing team member should be handling in their role when it comes to compliance:

  • Group 39   —  Content Creator

  • Group 40       —  Project Manager

  • Group 42   —  VP Of Marketing/Chief Marketing Officer

  • abbb2-erab6    —  Technology Manager

  • Group 47  —  General Counsel


Group 39Content Creator: Tactical Control

As content creators, the work of designers, copywriters, social media managers, videographers, and other similar roles play a pivotal role when it comes to marketing compliance.

If this is your role, you’re on the ground with the creative content itself, from creation to real-time modifications, and your work is constantly facing change requests, versioning and stakeholder approval.

You might not be setting the compliance strategy, but your work touches many marketing compliance responsibilities, such as:

  • —  Circulating current versions to the right stakeholders, in the right sequence, for review and approval

  • —  Checking that you’ve received feedback from all stakeholders before creating new versions and new drafts for review

  • —  Maintaining a digital trail (and often a paper trail) of how you’ve acted on requested changes

  • —  Saving and storing source files and final versions in an acceptable format and location.

  • —  Ensuring that all content meets brand standards (colors, logos, copy, etc.), as well as any regulatory requirements (disclaimers, sizing requirements, etc)

Given the volume of requests that creative teams see today, ensuring that everything you’re doing falls in line with compliance standards can be a daunting task without proper processes in place.

Often, what content creators need isn’t more oversight, but a way to automate oversight during these daily processes that won’t slow down creativity and task completion.

Lifting the compliance burden for content creators starts with audit trails, controlled content reviews, and formal, recorded sign-offs mean they don’t have to track those items on top of creating content.

Group 40Project Manager: The Strategic Scribe

When it comes to marketing compliance, marketing project managers are the keeper of the books. You’re overseeing the efficiency of the content creation processes, distributing creative assets for review and driving the collection of feedback, and fielding stakeholder input, all while meeting corporate goals.

That’s a lot to tackle, from both a tactical and strategic lens. Within this mix, you’re also mindful of:

  • —  Determining which stakeholders need content access for each project and providing justifications for why (or why not)

  • —  Tracking when specific stakeholders are looped into content and campaign review and the actions they take

  • —  Ensuring that controls are in place to record and distribute new comments, modifications, and decisions around marketing content

  • —  Maintaining a record of approval sign-off from all stakeholders from start to finish

  • —  Setting up review processes for different clients or stakeholders

  • —  Controlling project versioning in an organized manner

Often, due to the nature of different project needs, you’re probably also stuck working within email reply chains and file storage systems to communicate changes to content creators and stakeholders. The variability in these channels make it difficult to make sure work is completed in a proper manner and maintain complete project records.

Centralizing collaborator interactions (inside and outside of your organization), review tasks, and versioning in one system can go a long way to automating and improving the production of project records.

Group 42VP Of Marketing/Chief Marketing Officer: The Brand Connector

As a CMO, you’re likely thinking about brand compliance as a holistic strategy. Marketing messages can adversely affect a company's brand if they weren’t properly vetted before release.

With so much on the line, one single compliance breach or governance issue can undermine all the hard work you’re putting in to launch creative, innovative marketing campaigns.

As a marketing leader, you’re not only concerned with internal corporate communications and process, but you’re also ensuring that brand partnerships and client communication meet the right standards. You need an easy way to:

  • —  Set guidelines for how external stakeholders, partners, clients should interact with your brand - and ensure they’re being met consistently

  • —  Stay on top of regulatory requirements when brainstorming new or innovative campaigns

  • —  Create a strategy for the consistent review of corporate communications

  • —  Control brand cohesion across all of your marketing content channels, from digital

    to print to social media

  • —  Ensure that partner co-branding and content use across all partner campaigns align with legal requirements

Strong governance policies can end up being a major competitive advantage when pitching your services and earning the trust of new customers and clients.

Having automated processes in place that show measured control over content creation and creative production is key, but the real challenge for CMOs is to maintain compliance standards that are flexible enough to meet the needs of many different brands, clients, or project types.

abbb2-erab6Technology Manager: The Data Docent

Compliance risks typically boil down to how data is gathered, stored, accessed, and archives. Often what’s missing in the data that causes issues - lack of proof, lack of audit trails.

As a MarTech specialist, you’re the go-to guide in the murky waters of how data can affect (and effect) marketing compliance.

It’s up to you to show that, in a tour of all the marketing systems, data is handled properly at all times. This means everything from recording actions taken around digital content to maintaining audit trails of who is accessing and reviewing that content.

You’re usually on the hook for:

  • —  Gathering the right types of data throughout our content production (the who, what, when, etc.)

  • —  Securing data that’s collected around customer interactions and campaign analytics, and ensuring privacy laws aren’t being violated

  • —  Extracting or auto-generating real-time compliance reporting to stakeholders or regulators

  • —  Fully capturing content details and marketing data and archiving it according to applicable retention schedules

  • —  Discovering gaps in data governance practices.

  • —  Determine and configured content access needs across desktops and mobile

    devices for different roles.

As the number of MarTech systems required to run and track campaigns grows,
it’s getting harder to ensure that backend and consumer-facing technologies align with privacy laws. GDPR has shown us that.

The growth of AI and sophisticated targeting to deliver marketing content means that MarTech managers need to be even more diligent over the validity of how potential customers see, interact, and are influenced by brand content in digital channels.

Group 47General Counsel: The Legal Eyes

The General Counsel role is arguably the most direct line to compliance sign-off in an organization.

As the leader of the legal team, you’re both first in line for setting compliance requirements and potentially the final stop (if not you, then a member of your team) to making sure all marketing communications are above board.

Your work takes the threads of creative innovation, client delivery, and corporate standards into one standard for business conduct. On any given day, you’re in the thick of:

  • —  Conducting a legal review of proposed content that falls under the umbrella of a compliance program

  • —  Making sure that proper disclaimers appear in advertisements or packaging in the case of physical product distribution

  • —  Enforcing contractor agreements to include full policies around proper content access, usage, intellectual property needs, and other concerns when working with outside contractors to create or distribute marketing content

  • —  Determining brand licensing agreements to ensure brand standards is being accurately met

  • —  Ensuring that social media policies - both internal employee and partner use and within content distribution - are up-to-date with current requirements and enforced across the organization

When you’re responsible for a huge burden of proof, your internal systems and processes should do as much of the heavy lifting as possible for you. Yet, privacy, security, intellectual property and brand regulations look much different today than even five years ago.


5 Ways to Integrate Marketing Compliance into Your Marketing Workflow

When it comes to governance, a wide range of team members, not just in marketing, face varying areas and levels of diligence required to effectively contribute to meeting marketing compliance requirements.

At the core of all of this is the content itself. How that content is being deployed - whether it’s being created, routed, reviewed or approved - plays a central role in the marketing compliance “supply chain”.

Similar to how compliance requirements have created the need for specialized solutions within departments (finance, systems management, even benefits), marketing compliance dictates that creative content be treated similarly, with specific, purpose- built solutions that demonstrate the controls in place.

Standardizing oversight and minimizing risk throughout content creation requires smart integrations between content production and delivery systems that are supported by defined, automated internal-external review processes.

Here’s how to do this in practice:

Group 92


01 Define data input access across all campaign contributors

No matter what content systems are in use, it’s imperative to prove who has internal and external access to source files, who can upload/create files for review, who has commenting and approval rights and be able to track the actions of each user with accurate timestamps.

That’s of course, easier said than done: marketing teams are using a host of digital advertising tools, the design team creates its version in InDesign or Photoshop, and stakeholders just want to quickly send an approval in whatever system they prefer (re: mostly email.) That’s a lot of file creation, usage, and activity to monitor.

The gap between content creation and review and approval can be closed by setting up intake forms that:

  • —  Accept digital assets at the point of creation at every stage of the marketing and versioning lifecycle.

  • —  Immediately convert files into active proofs for review.

  • —  Kick-off pre-configured approval steps, access rights for different stakeholders, and staged review workflows based on the type of content and project initiated.

  • —  Track review and approval and proof creation actions from submission to approval.

Screenshot 2020-06-18 at 15.15.14

Sample intake form for new design artwork versions.


Screenshot 2020-06-18 at 15.16.45

Review workflows connected to intake forms automatically apply controlled stages for content access and approval for every project stakeholder.


Tightening automated actions between content creation systems like design and video editing software and review environments ultimately:

  • —  Decreases “leakage” in content access and version management throughout campaign creation.

  • —  Automatically tracks exactly where content originated from - even if it came from outside of your organization - and how it was used, access, transformed, and approved throughout the marketing or brand process.

02 Use stage-based reviews and approvals

One of the major breakdowns in marketing compliance is the lack of ability to prove that the right people saw creative content at the right time in the creative production process. As we saw in the case of Sony, not being able to demonstrate that Sony’s creative team had a bi-directional communication with Deutsch LA’s ad team got both companies into hot water.

It’s imperative to control which users see content at each stage of production.

Using a tiered review system helps move projects along, but can also be configured to ensure that further review or modifications only happen after previous approval has been implemented and recorded.

When it comes to creating a formal structure for either internal or agency-client review workflow, the #1 consideration should be visibility.

For project-heavy creative teams churning out constant deadlines, the ultimate question should be: When your team looks at an overview of multiple projects, what do you quickly want to be able to determine?

Furthermore, the stages within project review workflows should easily be categorized into two categories:

  • —  Tasks and content version should be classified as works-in-progress.

  • —  Points in the process when content versions are considered available for public feedback outside the creative team.

Delineating internal creative production needs from client review and how to link those tasks togethers in the same environment with ease and security will start to bring structure to campaign oversight.

Screenshot 2020-06-18 at 15.18.24

Staged workflows enable marketing and brand teams to control who sees content at each step of the campaign process and codify compliance standards directly into review workflows.


Staged workflows enable marketing and brand teams to control who sees content at each step of the campaign process and codify compliance standards directly into review workflows.

Once you’ve decided on the right staged flow for content review, we recommend using relative deadlines to keep each stage on track. Create standards for missed deadlines either internal or external-and hard code those rules into activity notifications.

This serves two purposes: It lights a fire under collaborators who are holding up the campaign process, and it demonstrates proof of communication and approval stages.


Reminder notifications can be used to standardize and capture set client review standards and ensure that everyone sees content at the exact right time in the marketing production process.


03 Implement reviewer-only access for client or partner collaboration

Other compliance complications arise when data workflows extend beyond internal review. Clients and partners often need access project versions at different points of the campaign cycle to provide input and approval and often to kick off campaigns by submitting design briefs of project versions themselves.

How do you provide external collaborators with the right level of access per role without exposing them to the entire set of project files or proprietary information?

It starts with defining client relationship:

  • —  Who actually owns the client relationship and is on the hook for facilitating communication?

  • —  What should external clients see or not see on project files/versions?

  • —  What are the steps for the internal sign-off workflow before sharing externally and do you ensure those steps have been met?

  • —  What determines a new version-a set time period for client feedback, receiving marked approval from all stakeholders, or group-based review?

The best way to then enforce these outcomes is to then set limits for external reviewer rights in the same system you’re using for internal creative production. Setting access and modification limits for external collaborators by role, stage, or company can help turn collaboration into an untracked free-for-all into a methodical strategy for brand partnership and content security.

04 Define (and Actually Enforce) Versioning client or partner collaboration

If marketing compliance boils down to one problem, it’s versioning: different stages of communication, different types of approval, and ultimately content versions. Version sprawl especially project files stored outside of project or content management on personal drives or in email chains-simply multiplies compliance risk.

Internal version sprawl starts with the first project brief. Externally, service level agreements with agency-client relationships typically set a maximum number of versions, but it’s ultimately very difficult for everyone to stick with a protocol.

  • —  Distinguish between actionable feedback and commentary. Which type should spur the creation of a whole new version?

  • —  Set a version numbering system that distinguishes between internal vs. review version.

  • —  Determine how your versioning strategy relates to external sharing. At each stage, which collaborators should have access and approval rights to content?

Once versioning nomenclature has been decided upon, version management should seriously limit actions collaborators can take on content files. It’s not just enough to create a version nomenclature.

Controls like locking files from modification after approval has been indicated and enable only certain collaborators to download files goes a long way to reducing unseen or rogue brand content.


Built-in versioning options maintain clear, compliant standards and structures for marketing asset management.


05 Prove brand consistency with an auditable archival method client or partner collaboration

Ensuring brand cohesion across all marketing content channels means using versioning and proper project storage throughout campaign creation.

Archiving past campaigns and project briefs doesn’t just mean downloading project files into a shared Google Drive or zip file. For complete compliance, creative teams need to be able to export the entire history of comment, markup and version history into content repositories for historical reporting.

An auditable retention strategy:

  • —  Encompass the timeline of content modification and access in addition to content files.

  • —  Captures communication threads around marketing content tracked from the start of a project brief.

  • —  Manages related unstructured data like social media and server data linked to static content files.

  • —  Enables creative production data, files, and past decisions to be accessed and reviewed-with the right context-years into the past.

Implementing an approval workflow stage that denotes the true, approved final version of a project and locks it from modification can help kick off the archival method. Linking final approval to an automatic, immediate export of all creative content helps close the gap between active campaign production and project archive-and make it much easier to reference past decisions when needed in the case of an audit.

Screenshot 2020-06-18 at 15.30.08


Four Marketing Compliance Data Points to Measure Throughout the Marketing Production Process

We’ve covered Here are four types of compliance data your creative production team should be tracking on a regular basis to contribute to your marketing compliance needs:

01 Decision and Approval Timelines

As we’ve discussed, one of the major facets of marketing compliance (both internally and externally mandated) is the ability to prove that the right people saw creative content at the right time in the creative production process.

Your creative team has come up with a great ad campaign - but has your legal team signed off? If not, have they documented why?

The real challenge: You should also be able to prove that there was a formal sign-off (or rejection) every time a decision was made, even if it was a rejection or approval with stipulations. Simply showing that a final review occurred isn’t enough. If a formal compliance certification is requested, you should be able to extract approval and review audit trails to answer:

  • —  Was input gathered from the right people?

  • —  At what point in time were those input decisions made - and why?

  • —  What were the outcomes of those decisions?

  • —  Was feedback acted upon in the final creative output?

  • —  If revisions were required, did the next iteration go through the same approval process?

  • —  For digital assets, were proper disclaimers included as part of the content creation for consumers to easily understand?

  • —  Are brand partnerships properly disclosed with sign off by all parties?

  • —  For physical products, are disclaimers incorporated into product labeling and


Instead of trying to track this information as you go, or worse, track it down after the fact, we recommend having audit trail capabilities baked into in the same environment in which you’re facilitating review and approval processes.

02 Who Has Access to Marketing Content

It’s important to prove who signed off on content and campaigns, but often proving who doesn’t have access is just as important to a strong marketing compliance program.

The average creative team is juggling multiple campaigns simultaneously. In fact, 60% of teams were managing four (4) or more creative projects weekly.

If this sounds like your situation, you’ll want to ensure that teams, reviewers, and decision makers for each project only have access to the content they need to see.

This is especially important in agency-client relationships. A stakeholder from one brand certainly shouldn’t be able to access the creative files your team has produced for another brand. A freelance designer working on one asset might only need access to specific brand guidelines, not an entire campaign brief, especially if it contains sensitive pre-release information or intellectual property.

A creative review and approval system can help implement control over content access via:

  • —  Defined and measured user roles
    When it comes to content access, you’ll want to delineate who can access source files, who can upload files for review, and who has commenting and approval rights, and be able to track the actions of each user with accurate timestamps.
    For example, using an online proofing system with defined user roles allows you to set access levels for different stakeholders and content types for tailored control over content access, and demonstrate who has access when needed.

  • —  Reviewer-only access
    Bridging the gap between internal and external review often goes too far. Frequently, there’s no easy way to give reviewers access to content for input without giving them access to the entire set of project files - a compliance risk waiting to happen.
    It’s preferred to have the ability to set limits for external reviewer rights in the same system you’re using for internal creative production, to minimize the number of systems required for administration.

  • —  Stage-based reviews and approvals
    Automated review workflows can control which users see content at each stage of production. This tiered review system helps move projects along, but can also be configured to ensure that further review or modifications only happen after previous approval has been implemented and recorded.

03 Data from Content Distribution Channels Content

Even if your internal processes are locked in place, content today has legs far beyond your creative team once it’s shared in the digital content ecosystem. Compliance around these environments in which content is shared is just as important as the content production steps themselves.

It’s fairly common today for AI tools to be used across a variety of channels to ensure campaigns reach the most high-impact audiences. A typical campaign may cross multiple systems, websites, geolocation tools, algorithms, content formats, and so on.

In all these channels, content is colliding with personal consumer data, -often improperly handled or connected to unclear messaging. The FTC is cracking down on influencer marketing claims, and it’s no secret that social media platforms are collecting personal data through connected third-party brand apps.

If your brand, or your clients’ brands, rely on these types of channels to get your message out, it’s easy to get caught up in a compliance quagmire by proxy.

Brand managers should understand the channels in which marketing content be distributed and how those distribution channels align with a brand’s compliance standards. They should make considerations like:

  • —  Do smart-targeting AI tools gather consumer data for use in campaign targeting? If so, how much and to what degree? Can consumers or ad viewers opt out?

  • —  Are targeted ads approved for all possible viewing scenarios and algorithms?

  • —  Are marketing claims created to be aligned with the regulations for each

    distribution channel?

  • —  How are campaign and content analytics gathered, extract, and shared across platforms, and who has access to those analytics?

04 Project Archival & Storage Structures Channels Content

Once a project or campaign has been wrapped up, you’ll want to ensure proper long-term archival of all content file types align with federal and industry governance standards, as well. That typically means combining files from my different systems or archiving them within your creative production system. It can also mean creating a hardcopy printout of the review process for safe-keeping or porting them out of your proofing solution into a long-term data archive

Archiving is often the last thing on the minds of a creative team that has just expended hours and hours of effort getting campaigns and creative out the door.

For complete audit-readiness, you’ll want to be able to quickly reference the full scope of past creative campaigns, including timestamps, comments, audit trails, and more.

  • —  When you’re approaching the project archiving stage, consider:

  • —  Do project archives store the entire timeline of content modification and access in

    addition to content files?

  • —  Have we captured all communication threads around marketing content?

  • —  Are you capturing and storing unstructured data-like social media and server data?

  • —  Are project files organized according to the right retention schedules?

  • —  Are archives stored securely and limited in access?

  • —  Can data and files be accessed and reviewed quickly in the case of an audit or compliance breach?



Today, marketing teams, agencies and brands don’t just need to abide by the rules and regulations of their industry or be able to respond quickly to a compliance gap or data breach. The marketing compliance “supply chain” is an all-encompassing strategy that should drive how daily content production tasks are structured and the way marketing content is handled prior to launch.

Compliance is a delicate balance between giving team members access to the information they need to be productive, protecting your and your clients’ creative assets, company information and legal standing, and ensuring
that creative work continues to flow efficiently enough to meet increasingly shorter launch deadlines.

Putting automated controls in place for content access and use is a must for automating marketing compliance. The internal methods by which that content is created, routed, reviewed, and approved plays a central role minimizing the risks to customer and proprietary data, brand integrity, and consumer trust. Every action taken around campaign creation and review should be easily traceable.

Ziflow online proofing was used for the review and approval of this ebook. Our proofing scorecard:

  • 4 versions shared with 5 total team members
  • 23 comments, 5 attachments to comments, 28 replies and 6 upvotes to comments
  • 4 changes required decision, 2 approval decisions


About Ziflow

Ziflow is an online proofing application for marketers, which streamlines the review and approval of creative content to deliver marketing projects faster. We do this by improving collaboration, centralizing feedback and eliminating manual steps through automated workflow. Ziflow replaces email, printouts and other ad-hoc methods for reviewing creative content with an enterprise-ready, pure-play online proofing solution.

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