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H.R. 815’s “TikTok Ban” Delivers Key Reminder to Diversify Digital Marketing Channels

Just weeks ago, the monumental foreign aid bill, known as H.R. 815, was passed and signed into law by the President. The bill delivers aid for Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel. It also includes two important sections of legislation unrelated to foreign aid. These sections could create shockwaves amidst generations reliant upon the popular social media platform, TikTok. These sections, the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act and the Protecting Americans’ Data, will require TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, to divest its ownership or face a total outright ban in the United States. 


H.R. 815 aims to reduce the number of foreign-owned software companies that pose potential security risks to the United States by clarifying the definition of violating foreign-owned companies. In short, these are companies who have at least 20% of their ownership controlled by any US foreign adversary. Furthermore, the Bill also goes one step further to limit the powers of app hosting companies (i.e. ‘App Store’ & ‘Google Play’ Applications) by imposing serious reprimands on any application that hosts these violating apps. 


H.R. 815 was officially passed and signed into law on April 24, 2024. ByteDance has 9-12 months from this time to sell TikTok, or it will be banned outright in the United States. This move would cause tidal waves within the Social Media and Paid Advertising landscapes, especially for content creators and advertisers who are fully reliant on TikTok. Diversification of your digital marketing channels should be viewed as a long-term investment that can yield growth over time, even amidst this type of uncertainty.


While it remains uncertain if TikTok will be able to find a new non-violating owner and remain an entertainment, news, information, and meme juggernaut. For content creators and paid media advertisers alike, what is certain now more than ever is having a sound omnichannel strategy and not being fully reliant on one channel for all of their paid media. Simply put, not putting all your eggs in one basket when it comes to ad placements, presence, and dollars.  


In the Paid Media world, a diversified strategy of digital marketing channels also referred to as an omnichannel strategy, is best understood through a metaphor that Foghorn Labs‘ Founder, Adam Lewis, often explains as like aCruise Ship, not a Speed Boat”. By diversifying your marketing strategies across various platforms such as Google Ads, YouTube, Meta (Facebook & Instagram), X (formerly Twitter), and TikTok, you can ensure your long-term growth won’t be adversely affected if anything unexpected happens to one platform. This way, you can quickly lean on other options instead of starting fresh on a new platform. Brands, advertisers, and content creators who adopt this strategy will be better equipped to handle any challenges and consequences that arise as a result of H.R. 815’s passing.

To learn more about developing your brand’s omnichannel strategy,
reach out to us at Foghorn Labs.

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