The Internet of Things presents unique intellectual property, legal and data protection issues when used by brands and retailers for advertising and marketing projects
Brands and retailers are excited by the possibilities of the Internet of Things (IoT) to engage consumers with real added-value experiences, in the right place, at the right time.
However, they are nervous of mis-stepping and loosing crucial trust and credibility with their audiences and loyal fans.
This is especially so right now with structural challenges such as ad-blocking, which many blame on the uncontrolled implementation of tech solutions (automated and poorly targeted ad serving) that do not benefit the user.
>See also: How much do you really know about the Internet of Things? Take the quiz
Here are the three big challenges in executing effective IoT projects in the advertising and marketing space.
There is a constant challenge when trying to apply existing rules to new tech and consumer marketing techniques. The regulators are desperately trying to keep up, but innovation will always move quicker than they can.
In essence, virtually all marketing communications and promotions will still fall within the remit of the ASA, who will continue to apply the CAP Code.
The key challenges will be ensuring transparency (in particular, making clear when contextual targeting or location based information is purely editorial and an organic piece of content, or when it is a marketing message), and continuing to ensure clear disclosures when a third party has paid or been paid to integrate or be associated with that content.
Another challenge is ensuring that consumer terms are clear – it might be a challenge to communicate all the relevant terms that apply to offers and promotions in fluid environments.
No doubt guidance will be issued from time to time on any potentially sticky areas, and this may clarify the way in which the existing rules apply, but you must have as solid understand of the core concepts in any event to be an effective partner.
There will be significant changes and increased scrutiny over the next two years and beyond as the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in the spring of 2018.