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Posts Tagged ‘Melanie Notkin’

Update Your Jargon Dictionary! Many Aunts Are Now ‘PANKs’

PANK — Professional aunt, no kids. Apparently, this is the target market for the holiday.

The word is the creation of Melanie Notkin, aka The Savvy Auntie. She partnered with Weber Shandwick and KRC Research on a study which found that 1 in 5 women is a PANK. That’s 23 million American women who are willing to spend $9 billion per year on the special kids in their lives. They’re 36 years old on average, more than half (52 percent) are single and have never been married, and just about a third of them make $50K or more per year. They’re hooked up on social media and work full-time.

Sisters are doing it for themselves. And companies want all those lovely ladies to spend that auntie money with them this year.

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New FTC Guidelines Go Into Effect Tomorrow; Social Media Campaigns Continue Unabated

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The FTC “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” officially go into effect tomorrow.

That being said, the changes have not slowed down so called “word of mouth” programs, especially by retailers in full holiday sales mode. “Don’t expect the FTC’s new guidelines on product endorsements to put a damper on social-media efforts,” wrote Advertising Age‘s Michael Bush today, citing numerous agency and internal brand marketers.

For example, blogger Melanie Notkin — known as Savvy Auntie — posted numerous Twitter updates from her sponsor JC Penny over the weekend and into today. Not all contained disclosure. Notkin herself admits to the rules being vague. “I don’t know. I try my best to make it clear,” she tweeted, in regards to if she only has to disclose her sponsor once, then is free to tweet and blog away with no disclosure.

Richard Cleland, Assistant Director of the FTC’s Division of Advertising Practices, told our sibling blog AgencySpy last Wednesday, in reference to tweets from tennis star Serena Williams: “When it is clear from the context of a communication that the celebrity is being paid, an additional disclosure is not required.” At this point, it seems the only thing that is clear is that everything is unclear. Marketers and bloggers alike should err on the side of caution, and it could be that “some will get screwed and some won’t” as one source put it to us this morning.