Mind your terms and conditions

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Linda Goldstein keeps corporations out of trouble. A partner at the law firm Hall Dickler Goldstein & Wood L.L.P., New York, Goldstein is an expert adviser to marketers and advertisers in such areas as promotions, direct-response marketing and the Internet.

Companies such as Microsoft Corp., Yahoo! Inc. and Coca-Cola Co. seek her advice on how to protect their copyrights, respect customer privacy and legally market over the Internet.

Goldstein carries a passel of credentials. She was a corporate attorney with Young & Rubicam Advertising before joining Hall Dickler, an experience that gives her perspective on what it’s like to be in the middle of a campaign.

Today, she’s active with the Promotion Marketing Association, where she is a former chairman of the board, and a member of the board of directors for the Electronic Retailing Association. Volunteering with those two organizations and tracking developments in Washington take up most of her free time, she said.

What are the some mistakes b-to-b marketers make on the Web? They aren’t as diligent in the preparation of their marketing materials as they are in traditional media, Goldstein said. "Some marketers make the mistake that Internet advertising won’t have the same exposure as their mass media advertising,"Goldstein said. "That’s not the case."

B-to-b companies are responsible for making sure their transactions are secure and a privacy policy is in place, she said. Goldstein is especially critical of companies that simply lift legal terms and conditions information from another site for use on their own.

"The terms and conditions page is the best line of defense a company has from the outside world, and it must fit the parameters of the company," Goldstein said. "Where companies get in trouble these days is not in not having a privacy policy, but posting one they do not follow.’’

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