Disclosure Requirements Federal Trade Commission

News & Analysis as of

FTC Settles Charges with Misleading Websites: Another Native Advertising Enforcement Action

Following on the heels of the FTC’s March 2016 settlement with Lord & Taylor concerning a deceptive native advertising campaign, the FTC just announced that it has reached a settlement with SmartClick Media LLC over its phony...more

Practice Fusion and FTC Settle Complaint Over Deceptive Statements About the Privacy of Consumer-Generated Online Content

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced (press release) that Practice Fusion, the largest cloud-based electronic health company in the United States, has agreed to settle FTC charges over deceptive practices...more

Subscription-Based Business Models: An Overview of Auto-Renewal Regulations

The demand for subscription-based and recurring revenue business models is growing faster than ever. According to a 2014 report by The Economist Intelligence Unit, 80 percent of customers are demanding new consumption models...more

The FTC’s Analysis of Lord & Taylor’s Social Media Marketing Campaign

New ways of monetizing digital media has brought challenges in regulating advertising. The FTC has recently issued guidelines to provide businesses and advertisers with insights as to how to comply with the FTC Act. Despite...more

The 2015 FTC Policy Statement: An Advertisement Can Be Deceptive Based On Its Formatting

Starting a few years ago, the FTC began increasing its efforts to address online disclosures in new media. For example, in 2013, the FTC issued .com Disclosures: How To Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising, which...more

The 2015 FTC Policy Statement: An Advertisement Can Be Deceptive Based On Formatting

Starting a few years ago, the FTC began increasing its efforts to address online disclosures in new media. For example, in 2013, the FTC issued .com Disclosures: How To Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising, which...more

A New “Wrinkle” in Native Advertising: NAD Embraces FTC’s “Deceptive Door Opener” Theory

Last week, the National Advertising Division (“NAD”) issued a decision in the realm of online native advertising. In the action against Joyus, Inc., the NAD was concerned that the company’s advertising for certain products...more

Recent FTC Settlements Spotlight Hidden Ways to Hook Unwary Consumer

Brands of all kinds are increasingly using “influencers” or “brand ambassadors” to promote their brand’s products in blog posts and on social media platforms. But no matter whether they are style influencers with a fierce...more

Native Advertising: Recent FTC Cases Require Disclosure of Paid Endorsements on Social Media

Two recent cases by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) demonstrate its position that paid endorsements in social media must be disclosed. These cases reinforce the FTC’s stance on transparency in native advertising, which...more

Going Native - What You Need to Know about the FTC's Recent Guidance on Native Advertising

Digital advertisers innovate new techniques to reach customers at a speed that, for the most part, outstrips the ability of the US government to regulate. Every now and then, however, the Government lurches forward to provide...more

Having The “Are You Operating an (Illegal) Franchise System Without Knowing It?” Conversation

Franchising laws are very broad in scope and may inadvertently encroach upon standard licensing or distribution agreements. The repercussions for operating an illegal (or more likely inadvertent) franchise system can be very...more

#Ad! — Lessons from the FTC’s First Case since the Release of its Enforcement Policy on Native Ads

As was widely reported, the Federal Trade Commission entered into a settlement in March with Lord & Taylor over charges that the retailer allegedly deceived consumers through a native advertising campaign run on Instagram and...more

National Retailer Settles FTC Native Advertising Complaint

The potential pitfalls of native advertising were on display this month at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The agency reported that national retailer Lord & Taylor settled with it on charges that the company improperly...more

FTC Complaint Highlights the Need to Disclose Material Connections in Ads

The recent complaint highlights the importance of clearly and conspicuously disclosing material connections between advertisers and paid influencers, including in social media posts or in native ads. ...more

Good Lord, & Taylor! Of Course You Need to Disclose Native Ads

On March 15, 2016, national retailer Lord & Taylor agreed to settle FTC charges that it “deceived consumers by paying for native advertisements.” The settlement is the first of its kind following the December 2015 guidance...more

Lord & Taylor Settles with FTC Over Influencer Native Advertising Campaign on Social Media and Online Magazine

We’ve seen native advertising take many forms, from paid celebrity Tweets to advertisements masked as editorial content to paid influencers promoting brands on social media. With a growing number of companies engaging in...more

FTC Issues a Friendly Warning on Certain Types of Online Advertising

Do you know how much of the content on your favorite digital news site or print magazine is advertising? Probably more than you think. Many advertisements are obvious because they have a clear promotional message,...more

Did You Catch that Hashtag at the Super Bowl?

Early in the game on Sunday night, Esurance ran a commercial announcing that it was giving away more than $1 million through a sweepstakes on Twitter. You may remember that Esurance made a splash with a Twitter-based...more

Going Native? Part 2: The FTC’s Native Advertising Guide for Businesses – The Why, When and How of Effective Disclosures

At the end of December, we blogged about the FTC’s long-awaited Enforcement Policy Statement on Deceptively Formatted Advertisements. Along with the policy, the FTC issued a Guide for Businesses that contains seventeen...more

Increased Government Scrutiny of Ads on Social Media Expected in 2016

Recent statements and actions by the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau forewarn of additional regulatory enforcement of advertisements on social...more

Advertising and Issuing Credit Online

DWT’s Payments Team participated in the ABA Consumer Financial Services Committee’s Winter Meeting in Park City, Utah last week. Andrew Owens delivered a presentation on advertising and issuing credit online during the...more

Seller Beware: Lessons Learned from 2015 Deceptive Advertising Enforcement in the Consumer Finance Space

Federal regulators took a close look at advertisements for consumer financial products and services in 2015, bringing over 25 enforcement actions totaling over $975 million in penalties and consumer redress. In the majority...more

FAST Act Drives Long-Awaited Gramm-Leach-Bliley Amendment

In late 2015, Congress passed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act - a vehicle for an amendment to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) meant to eliminate the need for certain companies to provide annual privacy...more

Brain Freeze: Lumosity Settles Charges With FTC Over Ads About Cognitive Health

Lumosity’s online “brain training” program was playing Jedi mind tricks (yes, a Star Wars pun) on consumers according to a complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against Lumos Labs, Inc. (Lumosity) and its...more

Serious Games Require Serious Attention to Marketing Statements

Lumos Labs recently paid $2 million to the FTC to settle claims that it deceived consumers about its brain training application’s ability to increase cognitive function. According to the FTC, the company alleged that its...more

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