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The Bottom Line on Brand Protection During COVID

By Rhonda McGill
December 18, 2020
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I'm excited to announce the beginning of my new bi-weekly blog series called The Bottom Line, where I share my takes on the most relevant and pressing topics in regulatory and marketing compliance. 

For my first post in the series, I’m just dropping in with a “quick hit” blog before we get busy indulging in food, fun, and virtual festivities with our friends and family as we prepare for the holiday and the start of what many of us are hoping will be a much better New Year. If you’re like me, you spent the last weekend decking the halls and getting those Holiday cards in the mail as we sit on the edge of our seats waiting to see what 2021 will bring. I’m sure we can agree that we have hit the virtual wall of fatigue with COVID-19 and are looking forward to getting that vaccine so that we can get to a “new normal” in 2021. If you are like me, you miss your family and friends and could use a hug from someone other than the people living under your roof (but I digress)…

Well back to reality folks… because until that happens, we must all continue to be vigilant, and this matters most to those of you in the world of compliance. COVID-19 associated frauds have been on the rise, and if you are responsible for protecting the brand of your company, it is even more important that you are aware of threats from fraudsters and are keeping an eye out so that your brand does not end up being associated with one of those unsavory sites. 

As I write this message, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sent out close to 400 COVID-19 related warning letters to multiple businesses and individuals that are believed to have conducted what the FTC deems to be unlawful activity on their consumer-facing sites. Some of those sites are offering everything from herbal remedies to cure coronavirus to relief loans targeted at students and people seeking financial relief, the list goes on, and just think… these are just the ones that the FTC is aware of. As a compliance manager, the last thing you want is to see your company logo or banner ad on a  website belonging to someone that the FTC has chastised for questionable activity.   

Early on in the pandemic, PerformLine decided to use our technology platform to discover, monitor, and act on behalf of our clients by tracking fraudulent activities related to all things COVID. As we are looking to put this year in the history books, we are adding more rules around vaccines and therapies related to COVID. In doing this, we will be adding an additional layer of brand protection for our clients to help them during this unprecedented time.

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The bottom line is that I encourage all of my compliance friends to take some time to review your compliance management systems and make sure that you have all of the right measures in place to protect your company and your brand. This is a great time to connect with your affiliates and lead generators to reinforce the importance of them doing the right thing when generating leads for your brand. We are in some unique times and as compliance professionals, now more than ever, your company needs assurance (from you) that their brand is being monitored, and protected (especially in those hidden spaces where bad actors may be lurking).

I personally want to wish you all a very safe and happy holiday season and let you know that the PerformLine family has some amazing things in store for 2021. We are so excited for the year ahead and look forward to connecting with you all in the new year! Happy Holidays!

Tags: Brand Management, COVID-19, The Bottom Line

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