WOMMA Extends Comment Period on Ethics

The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) will extend the comment period on its proposed code of conduct until April 15. The decision was attributed to a relative lack of response to its request for comments, though the group has been the target of public criticism from two separate groups.

The Viral and Buzz Marketing Association (VBMA), a rival group with a similar mission, issued a press release saying the guidelines creation process hadn’t been inclusive enough. Meanwhile, the National Institute on Media and the Family (NIMF) launched an ad campaign and blog in criticism of the code of conduct’s provisions regarding minors. Even with those communications included, WOMMA has only tallied eight formal comments, thus far. Those comments were posted on the group’s Web site late last night.

“More and more people are finding out about our work for the first time as the story spreads around the Web, and we want to give everyone a chance to get involved,” said WOMMA CEO Andy Sernovitz. He added that he expects the guidelines to be a topic of discussion at the group’s first conference, to be held later this month in Chicago.

Sernovitz said WOMMA had reached out to the NIMF to try to include the group in the process, but hadn’t gotten any cooperation.

“We’re glad they are engaged in the issue and are helping encourage others to get involved,” he said. “It’s sort of silly that they are wasting so much money on attack ads, when we could be working together to protect kids.”

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