The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a procedural document called the “Guidance for Industry” in December. While policy documents from government agencies are typically full of bureaucratic catch phrases and non-sensical rules and such, there was a little nugget in this one that could be an interesting milestone in the history of social media.
The FDA has a line in the document, which specifically speaks to what it calls, “Emerging Electronic Media,” that is quite profound. The line says brands are capable of responding responsibly through social media regarding their product. But here’s where it gets profound. They say brands are capable (can) respond in an, “honest, non-misleading and accurate manner.” (Page 3, lines 83 and 84, in case you’re looking for it.)
Isn’t that what the point of the Cluetrain and the social movement has been striving for? Is this government acknowledgement that what the people really want is honest, transparent and fair information?
Yes, there are still layers of crazy rules for pharma and what-not, but at least these regulations are, amidst all the legal mumbo-jumbo and cover-my-ass dogma, ringing true the core tenants of what customers really do want and need from their interactions with brands.
I say it’s a step in the right direction. What say you?