Scam ads can be damaging to a brand, but there are things marketers can do to ensure they don't end up dealing with one in the first place. Here are four steps to protecting yourself.
1. Ensure that your global marketing, PR and legal teams understand what scam ads are. Create a tutorial that explains the phenomenon and how they are leaked into the world.
2. Assign a point person or a team of people who are responsible for vetting awards-show submissions. Do not sign the dotted line unless you've confirmed that an ad is legitimate.
3. How do you know if an ad is legitimate? Ensure that it was commissioned by your brand, approved by your brand and that it actually aired or appeared for a sustained period of time -- not just once, in an obscure market.
4. If you have a policy that details consequences for the creation and distribution of scam ads, review it. And if you don't have one, create one soon.