Consumer Reports WebWatch wants "Trust Worthy" publishers to raise their hands -- in a full-page October 24 "New York Times" print ad.
Today, publishers received a letter asking them to pledge to adhere to CR's five credibility guidelines for all Web sites. Sign the pledge and the name of your organization will join The New York Times, CNN, WebMD, ING, Monster, Barnes&Noble and others who have vowed to uphold it.
The uh-oh moment is where the letter reads: "Should we not receive a prompt response, your company name may appear on our Web site and other communications as a site that has not complied with our guidelines."
There's a literal blacklist side of the ad. A list of company names will be published under the heading: Trust Worthy?
Copy asks: "Your company name here...or here?"
Consumer Reports isn't only trying to promote its Oct. 26 Trust or Consequences event in DC. As the letter points out, if your site isn't in compliance with the guidelines, all it may require are one or two simple fixes.
That, or the prospect of getting your company's name into the Times for free, will hopefully impel more than one site to give best practices a second thought.
So well done, Beau Brendler (director of Consumer Reports WebWatch).