FTC To Update Guidance For Online Advertising Disclosures

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The Federal Trade Commission has announced that it will be updating its guidance on how federal advertising law applies to online advertising. In its May 26, 2011, statement the FTC advised it is seeking public comment on how "Dot Com Disclosures: Information About Online Advertising" should be modified to reflect the dramatic changes to the online landscape that have occurred in the 11 years since the Commission first issued the guidance.

The 2000 guidance advised businesses operating online how the FTC's consumer protection rules and guides -- many of which were developed long before the virtual marketplace became a household shopping destination -- apply to advertising and sales on the Internet. "Dot Com Disclosures" emphasized that the same consumer protection laws applied to online marketers, and stressed particularly the need for clear and conspicuous disclosures in Internet advertising and how factors that apply to traditional marketing would apply in the online context.

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