PING Ethics (Q&A)

PING Ethics is an ethic code launched at the PING Helsinki event in May 2016 for promoting the transparency and general fairness of content marketing. The code is compiled by content providers, business partners and different organisations and it aims at raising conversation about the general rules and guidelines of content marketing.

The aim of the code is to help companies and content providers to produce high-quality, interesting commercial content and, at the same time, appreciate the confidential relationship between the parties. The end-result is an open, trusting and profitable cooperation that benefits both the content providers and businesses, not forgetting the audience. 

The field of content marketing is developing fast and finding its suitable procedures. Mistakes are made in this early stage and the industry has many operators that as private persons are not bound by any professionally binding regulations.

The PING Helsinki event aims at developing the field of content marketing in Finland by creating new business and by developing the rules of the industry. PING Helsinki gathers the industry under one roof and provides a forum for open discussion about the changes in the industry and its rules. The event organisers have gathered the PING Ethics code based on the experiences gathered from the event.

Content marketing is a very wide concept. According to PING Helsinki, content marketing includes commercial cooperation between content providers and their business partners. Other terms used could be content cooperation or native advertising. This cooperation has a clear purpose and business partners benefit from the content providers who produce high-quality content and distribute the desired message in their social media channels.

The PING Ethics code includes bloggers, instagrammers, youtubers, snapchatters and other people who have their own social media channel for which they are personally responsible for. In practise this means that a PING Ethics code approving content provider is also the one who publishes material.

The PING Ethics code is for everybody. It can be signed and applied by bloggers, instagrammers, youtubers, snapchatters and other social media content providers, and also organisations and companies that cooperate with content providers.

It is very easy to start using the PING Ethics code. There are two sets of codes, one for content providers and the other for companies. Both have similar content but the viewpoints are tailored according to the reality and difference in perspective of the parties.

Start by choosing your role: Content Guru or Business Hippie. After reading the statements and agreeing with them, fill in your contact information. Some of this information is also displayed on the website of PING Ethics. A PING Ethics badge is then sent to your email and this badge can be published on your website, blog or other channel as an indicator of your commitment to this code.

Signing the code is easy, however, abiding by it demands long-term commitment and can be challenging at times. Support from peers is available at the PING Helsinki events and on the open PING Helsinki Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1584342678473168/).

There are many laws and guidelines that stipulate marketing and content producing in different social media channels. The PING Ethics code does not create new rules and guidelines but gathers all in one document. The aim is to prevent any further regulations with the help of self-regulation.
The legislation and regulations in Finland include:

The PING Ethics code is compiled in Finland by a host of companies and organisations: IAB, MARK, MTL, Viesti ry, Töttöröö, United Screens, KLOK, Splay, Blogirinki Media, Manifesto, Meltwater, Instamarkkinointi, A-lehdet, Toinen Phd, Retkipaikka, Blogietiikka, F-Secure, IKEA, Eckerö Line, Hälsans Kök, Fazer, Långvik and Lataamo.

In addition to these, several social media influencers with real experience about commercial cooperation that took part in PING Helsinki also took part in compiling the code.

Different organisations in the field are seeing to it that the code is honoured. The list includes the Finnish Association of Marketing, Technology and Creativity (MTL), the Finnish Association of Communication Professionals (Procom), the Union of Communication professionals (Viesti ry), and the Union of Journalists in Finland (Suomen Journalistiliitto). The code is being developed as the industry develops. If changes are needed, please contact Aku Varamäki (aku@enthusiast.fi).

For more information, please contact:
Aku Varamäki
co-founder of PING Helsinki
+358 400 342234