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March 14, 2013

FTC sets new guidelines for mobile, online advertisers

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released new guidance for mobile and other online advertisers aimed at helping them ensures their adverts don't make false claims.

By CBR Staff Writer

The FTC updated its Dot Com Disclosures guidance, which was released in 2000, to address current online and mobile advertising environment.

As per the new guidance, advertisers who use space-constrained ads, such as those on some social media platforms, must still provide disclosures required to prevent an ad from being misleading.

The new guidance clearly advises marketers to avoid conveying such disclosures through pop-ups, as they are often blocked.

In the updated Dot Com Disclosures advertisers are urged to avoid using hyperlinks for disclosures involving product cost or certain health and safety issues.

The new guidelines also call for labelling hyperlinks as specifically as possible and they caution advertisers on considering how their hyperlinks will function on various programmes and devices.

FTC’s Lesley Fair said advertisers should make sure their disclosures are understandable and prominent on all devices and platforms consumers may use to view their ads.

Fair said: "That means if an ad would be deceptive or unfair, or would otherwise violate an FTC rule, without a disclosure, but the disclosure can’t be made clearly and conspicuously on a particular device or platform then that ad shouldn’t run on that device or platform."

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