Take Two, Ms. Taylor…

In late April, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released the results of its first investigation into a company’s relationship with online bloggers. The focus of its investigation was women’s retailer Ann Taylor, which had conducted a prize drawing for bloggers who posted coverage of the retailer’s preview event for its summer 2010 collection.

This too-cozy relationship between marketer (Ann Taylor) and blogger raised its share of eyebrows at the Ftc: “We were concerned that bloggers who attended a preview … failed to disclose that they received gifts for posting blog content about that event,” said Mary Engle, the FTC’s associate director of advertising practices.

With this in mind, we’ve focused this issue of Logic + Magic around the theme of results. We discuss how to increase ROI, reduce ramp-up time, and find ways to drive more value from your marketing investment. after all, measuring results can be tricky: is it all about quantity, units moved, or sales made? or, is it about quality, best margin, having the most vocal advocates, or being the most likely to produce repeat customers?

No matter what your benchmark may be, the FTC’s recent inquiry has reminded us all that today’s savvy digital marketer cannot let the ends justify the means. The methods by which those results are achieved are becoming ever more important … just ask Ms. Taylor!