ERSP Celebrates 10 Years


On April 12, 2004, ERA and the National Advertising Review Council (NARC) formally unveiled the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP). This groundbreaking program sought to enhance consumer confidence and provide the direct response industry with a forum to review claims independently of federal regulation.


As we commemorate ERSP’s 10-year anniversary, we celebrate its founding mothers and fathers who championed self-regulation and worked tirelessly to make the program a reality. They include Jim Lehrberger, chair of the committee that created ERSP; Manatt’s Linda Goldstein, the primary volunteer attorney during its creation; Jack Kirby of Havas Edge, ERA’s chairman during the program’s inception; and Peter Marinello, who became ERSP director in July 2004. In addition, there were other ERA members who supported the program every step of the way, including Dan Danielson, Mercury Media; Jeff Knowles, Venable LLP; and Greg Renker, Guthy-Renker, LLC.


Today, ERSP functions as a separate self-regulatory program administered for the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC, formerly NARC) by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The program works to prevent deceptive claims from infiltrating the airwaves and poisoning our industry. It also serves as a blueprint for other marketing trade organizations looking to establish their own self-regulation programs.


Since its launch, ERSP has tracked approximately 9,500 direct response ads, monitored countless hours of home shopping, and completed 351 cases. What’s more, ERSP expanded its service offerings in 2012 to include telemarketing review and lead-generation monitoring. ERSP is also developing a service to help marketers identify red-flag issues in their DR campaigns that might not be readily apparent to them during early-stage development.


On May 20, during the 2014 Government Affairs Fly-In, ERA will host a half-day ERSP workshop. I encourage you to attend. For more information, please visit, or contact Bill McClellan, ERA’s vice president of government affairs, at [email protected].


ERSP is a testament to the efforts of the leaders in the direct response community to protect the regulatory and legislative climate for ERA members, while ensuring a favorable landscape for DR marketers to offer quality products and services to consumers. Not only does ERSP instill confidence in consumers’ minds, it also helps legitimize direct response marketing as a whole. Every day, ERA and ERSP strive to ensure a level playing field for market participants by working to protect consumers from unhealthy marketing practices.


Julie Coons
President & CEO