Social Networking helps you dodge the law

Posted by Emma Woollacott in Paris, France

 And we thought we were cynics. Honestly, we're like babes in the wood compared to this lot.

At a round table on social media marketing in Paris today, Bundeep Rangar, chairman and CEO of IndusView, explained just how great it is to be able to ignore local laws.

"Social media allows you to circumvent grey areas of the law," he explained. "Cutting edge in our industry is the vice industry. In a lot of countries, you can't advertise gambling sites, so what do you do? You create a social media site where you can click through to ads. It's not as advertising, it's as a link in the text, and that's perfectly legal."

Michael Terpin, chairman and CEO of SocialRadius, cited viral ads such as the 'baby-father' one which turned out to have been created by the Danish Tourist Board, and the Lonely Girl blog.

"She was a paid actress, and when it came out - what a scandal! But they got so much advertising out of it," he said. "Stunts work. You just have to be careful that any backlash you get supports your work."

He's also a big fan of video bloggers. "If you can get them interested, they will get it into the search engines really quickly," he said. "We did the 'I'm a Celebrity' campaign in the US. We got 20 bloggers with big followings to compete with each other to go to Costa Rica - and got two million visitors to the site."

Less entertaining, but giving food for thought, were some of the figures. Apparently, social media marketing is already a $1 billion industry, and is growing at a massive 50 per cent per year - the only sector apart from search engine advertising that isn't either stagnant or in decline.