Ad.ly got on my radar after I learned it played an important role in helping Charlie Sheen regain his Twitter handle and got it “verified” quickly. Here is a video of Arnie Gullov-Singh, CEO of Ad.ly, speaking on Bloomberg.
Ad.ly has a network of over a 1,000 celebrities on Facebook and Twitter. (more info in Arnie’s blog entry “Celebrity Endorsements In 5 Simple Steps“) And this Jan 2011 entry “Disclosure is Simple, Clear and Conspicuous” answered one of my main concerns, (emphasis added)
“You may have seen a number of headlines last week — primarily coming out of the UK — about advertisers going straight to celebrities to do paid endorsements in Twitter *without* clear disclosure.
Just a quick reminder that – as always – 100% of Ad.ly endorsements are fully disclosed in accordance with guidelines from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). [Kempton: I don’t know how up-to-date is this, but here are links to the FTC 5th Oct, 2009 press release and the FTC 2009 endorsement guide (PDF).]
When we launched in 2009, we established 100% disclosure as a best practice using #Ad, (Ad), or #Spon at the end of each endorsement, or a clear contextual statement such as “I am working with brand XYZ to promote product ABC.””
Looks like Arnie and his team are doing some cool stuff here, I am definitely going to keep an eye on them as I think they have an interesting business going here.
Some stats/quotes by Arnie in the Bloomberg interview:
* Last 12 months, did about 24,000 endorsements for about 150 brands.
* “Very effective way to advertise scalably in social media.”
* “Celebrities are really the new brands in social media.” [Kempton: Hmmm, interesting. Interesting way to see celebrities and brands.]
P.S. May be I am too quick to call Ad.ly, a company I read this morning for the first time, a Lovemark? But I think it is fun to take a little bit of risk once in a while because I do see lots of potential for Ad.ly. Only time will tell if I am right.
P.P.S. As I wrote before, in case you are interested, here is a link to US Patent application 20090177532 “SELF SERVE ADVERTISING SYSTEM AND METHOD” filed Jan 7, 2009. I should really take a look if I can find some time.