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(Updated 6/10/22) In 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) first updated its guidance for advertising disclosures in a guide called .com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising. The original guidance from 2000 left open many holes including advertising on mobile devices and places like Twitter and Facebook. Since then, the FTC has clarified much of what it originally wrote.
As affiliates, we have already been advised that disclosure must be “clear and conspicuous.” The new document goes even further. In fact, it specifically states that disclosure at the end of blogs posts is not acceptable. Here are some of the highlights from the guidelines:
- Consumer protection laws such as the FTC’s prohibition on “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” apply to all media, including mobile devices.
- Disclosures must be placed “as close as possible” to the claims.
- If there is not room on the ad to disclose, it may be acceptable to make the disclosure on the page to which an ad links.
- Scrolling should not be necessary to find the disclosure.
- If it is too difficult on a particular platform to make disclosure clear and conspicuous, the platform should not be used for advertisements.
- Advertisers should review their ads in the mindset of the “reasonable customer” and assume that customers do not read the entire page.
- Pop-up disclosures should not be used. [Read more…]