There will be little nostalgia for the past 12 months after the bizarre spectacle that was 2017 comes to a close. But some of the industry conflicts that made headlines remain unresolved, and will continue to impact practitioners long into the New Year.
Here are some major storylines that will continue to shape how consultants work in 2018.
The Regulation Fight
The Honest Ads Act introduced in October, which would require “those who purchase and publish [political ads] to disclose information about the advertisements to the public,” has bipartisan support and some Beltway media backing. But it’s the FEC, a body equally well known for its gridlock, that may act faster than Congress on disclosure requirements for campaign and advocacy social media marketing.
In mid-December, the FEC made what Commissioner Ellen Weintraub called “a small step forward” on the disclosure front. That step came when it ruled that the group Take Back Action Fund, which had sought guidance from the commission, must include disclaimers on “its proposed Facebook image and video ads that call for the election or defeat of candidates.”
The legal opinion approved by commissioners is narrow and applies only to the Take Back Action Fund’s advertising. But it was the latest indication that the FEC is going to rollback the small-item exemption on digital ads.