Self-Regulation SupERAchiever - Jon Congdon

On July 1, 2004, ERA and the National Advertising Review Council made history when it launched the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP). Not only did it draw more attention to Self-Regulation among the membership, it also fortified ERA’s longstanding commitment toward preserving the industry’s image. Download Success Story

Beachbody understands all too well the significance of ERSP and the responsibility BeachBody Logo 150it places on companies to self-regulate. ERA spoke one-on-one with the Santa Monica, California-based marketer to find out how the association’s involvement with Self-Regulation has contributed to Beachbody’s own success.

The Challenge

Beachbody has witnessed firsthand how the actions by unscrupulous companies in the industry have tarnished the image of direct-to-consumer marketing as a whole, despite the fact that there are far more ethical marketers, including Beachbody, who follow the guidelines set forth by the Federal Trade Commission.

“One of the challenges with self-regulation is it’s not a catchall; it’s helping but we still need to work hard to make sure that our peers market well and treat customers fairly,” says Jon Congdon, President and Co-founder of Beachbody.

He adds that even the good actors may occasionally misstep, however, they’ll often make the necessary corrections to their shows without ruining their image. It’s the bad actors that tend to compromise everyone’s reputation.

The Solution

Congdon says, “Without ERA, ERSP wouldn’t have happened.” While he’s quick to point out that ERSP operates independently, “if ERA supports the program by having members believe in it, and understand that having it makes us stronger and actually increases response on TV, then ERA has done its job well,” Congdon says.

He adds that ERSP is vital because it not only helps to keep the bad shows off the air, but it also prevents governing agencies, which are not entrepreneurs, from stepping in and legislating the industry.

Furthermore, he contends Self-Regulation has created a level playing field for everybody, as well as an environment where ERA is perceived as an association comprised of responsible and principled companies.

The Result

As an ERA member and a member of the Board of Directors, Congdon says his active participation has compelled the company to practice what it preaches. That meant keeping abreast of government issues, such as self-regulation, as they affect the industry and teaming with other members to make sure their voices are heard.

“The more involved we were, and the more we talked about being leaders in our industry, the more it became a self-fulfilling prophecy,” he notes. “I think being involved with ERA makes you realize that you can be a good company while growing. And, you can grow even though you’re a good company. I’d rather be in that position than to pretend to be one thing, while secretly being something else behind the scenes.”

Such efforts have elevated Beachbody’s image. As Congdon explains, “It’s helped us further the trust we already have established with the companies we currently do business with and also with the procession of people who want to do business with us.”

Learn more about ERA's Advocacy and Self-Regulation efforts.