Stephen joined MRM as a Digital Consultant last year, coming from a previous role in compliant social media technology. He has recently been involved in interpreting the latest social media consultation from the FCA. You can find his personal blog here.
So why social media compliance?
I kind of love it. I think social media, as a tool for distributing information and building a community around a business, is second to none. Regulated companies tend to be a little more guarded with new ways of marketing, so being able to go to clients and assure them that what we’re suggesting is compliant, as well as awesome, is important.
What do you think of the new rules suggested by the FCA?
After four years of very little communication from the FCA about social media, I was nervous reading the consultation. I feared it would be incredibly forward thinking and I’d love it, or it would be lacklustre, basic and I’d hate it. The reality is that it falls somewhere in between, which is a massive step forward on the last update.
What was good and what was bad?
Some serious thought has been put into several of the bugbears that the industry has faced since 2010. The rules around advertisements are so much clearer now but we still need answers on working with third party content providers, using personal accounts for business purposes. The consultation is open until November and we’ll be feeding all this back to the FCA.
Did you ever imagine you’d be working in Digital?
Not really, but I always knew I’d make things. I’ve carried a pad with me pretty much everywhere I go for years and I’m always jotting down ideas or sketching or doing something. I love that I’m in a job where I get to see the ideas I scribble down, built into tangible things.
Do you have any pet peeves?
Made up data. The internet, especially digital marketing, is full of facts and figures about audience size or outcomes, that are regurgitated so many times without the source ever being quoted. Everything contradicts something else and it creates a warped sense of what’s achievable in a real campaign for real marketers. I could do without it.
Who makes you laugh?
Micky Flanagan and David Cameron. For different reasons.
What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
It’s okay to make the wrong decisions for the right reasons, but take off those trainers. You look ridiculous.
Stephen blogs over at Gritty Social. Head there to learn more.