The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued new guidance for digital advertisers and marketers, “.com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising” (“.com Disclosures Guide” or “Guide”), on March 12, 2013. The guidance is designed to help mobile and other online advertisers make disclosures clear and conspicuous to avoid deception.
The revision to the Dot Com Disclosures Guide is the first since 2000, when smartphones, tablets, and social media marketing were not in wide use. The revised Guide emphasizes that consumer protection laws apply equally to marketers across all mediums, whether delivered on a desktop computer, a mobile device, or more traditional media such as television, radio, or print.
The Guide emphasizes timeless truth-in-advertising principles, including that “if a disclosure is needed to prevent an online ad claim from being deceptive or unfair, it must be clear and conspicuous.” The FTC says this principle means advertisers should ensure that the disclosure is clear and conspicuous on all devices and platforms that consumers may use to view the ad.
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