FTC seeks industry input on modernizing its “.com Disclosures” guidance | Hogan Lovells

FTC seeks industry input on modernizing its “.com Disclosures” guidance | Hogan Lovells
FTC seeks industry input on modernizing its “.com Disclosures” guidance | Hogan Lovells

FTC seeks industry input on potential revisions to its 2013 .com Disclosures guidance on digital promoting and advertising and marketing.

The FTC is searching for public feedback on potential revisions to its 2013 guidance relating to digital promoting and advertising and marketing, titled “.com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising.” 1 The guidance provides ideas and recommendation to companies associated to digital promoting and advertising and marketing. The deadline to submit feedback is August 2, 2022. 2 Ahead of issuing revised guidance, the request for remark itself supplies priceless perception into FTC’s focus, and potential enforcement priorities, with respect to the disclosure of fabric info within the context of latest and rising digital and different media. While rising applied sciences and traits in social media create novel complexities for advertisers, the brink precept that materials info have to be adequately disclosed in all promoting stays well-established.

In its press launch, FTC highlighted its rising concern that some corporations incorrectly use the guides to justify practices that mislead shoppers. For instance, the company famous that some companies have tried to say they’ll keep away from legal responsibility underneath the FTC Act by hiding or burying disclosures in hyperlinks, a observe that may be dangerous to shoppers. Additionally, the company seeks to eradicate elements of the guidance which can be now not related and replace the guidance to higher shield clients navigating the fashionable digital market. The undertaking is one among quite a few FTC initiatives not too long ago undertaken by the company to sort out darkish patterns and misleading digital practices.

The request for info identifies a number of points for which the company seeks public input, together with the next:

The use of sponsored and promoted promoting on social media platforms;
Targeted and embedded types of promoting, together with digital actuality and micro-targeted advertisements;
Whether the present guidance is ample to deal with advertisements on cellular units;
Whether further guidance is critical to mirror the multi-party promoting preparations involving e-commerce;
How the guidance on the usage of hyperlinks could be up to date to higher shield shoppers; and
The adequacy of on-line disclosures when shoppers must navigate by way of a number of webpages.

The full record of questions for remark within the request for info could be present in Appendix 1, beneath.

Next steps

Proactive corporations will view the subjects recognized by the FTC as a chance to revisit their current and any new promoting insurance policies.   Advertisers will likely be well-served by not ready for the FTC to situation new guidance.  The .com Disclosures guidance is dated and up to date guidance will likely be instructive however the underlying rules are prone to stay unchanged.

Appendix 1

List of Questions for Comment from the FTC

FTC Staff Requests Information Regarding Digital Advertising Business Guidance Publication (FTC-2022-0035-0001)

What points raised by present or rising on-line applied sciences, actions, or options, comparable to sponsored and promoted promoting on social media platforms or in any other case, the usage of promoting content material embedded in video games, or the usage of darkish sample strategies in digital promoting, ought to be addressed in a revised guidance doc?  Why and the way ought to they be addressed?
What points raised by new legal guidelines or rules ought to be addressed in a revised guidance doc?  Why and the way ought to they be addressed?
What analysis or different info relating to the net market, internet advertising strategies, shopper on-line habits, or shopper cellular habits ought to the employees contemplate in revising its internet advertising guidance doc?
What analysis or different info relating to the effectiveness of disclosures – and, specifically, on-line disclosures – ought to the employees contemplate?
What particular kinds of on-line disclosures, if any, increase distinctive points that ought to be addressed in a revised guidance doc individually from a dialogue of common disclosure necessities?
What guidance within the .com Disclosures doc is outdated or pointless?
What guidance ought to be clarified, expanded, strengthened, or restricted?
How can the guidance on the usage of hyperlinks be clarified to offer higher guidance on the suitable use of hyperlinks and the way hyperlinks ought to be labeled?
Does the guidance adequately handle the best way to make qualifying disclosures when shoppers should navigate a number of webpages so as to full a purchase order?  If not, how ought to the guidance be modified?
The guidance says that when designing space-constrained advertisements, “disclosures could typically be communicated successfully to shoppers if they’re made clearly and conspicuously on the web site to which the advert hyperlinks.”  Should that guidance be modified, and in that case, how?  Should the guidance doc make clear when a disclosure on a marketer’s web site can and can’t be ample to stop a illustration in an earlier communication that hyperlinks to the web site from being deceptive?
Does the guidance adequately handle promoting on cellular units?  If not, how ought to the guidance be modified?
Should the guidance doc handle points distinctive to particular audiences or demographics in seeing, listening to, or comprehending disclosures?  If so, how ought to the guidance be modified?  Should any such guidance handle microtargeted commercials, and in that case, how ought to it achieve this?
Should the guidance doc handle points which have arisen from multi-party promoting preparations in web commerce comparable to (1) established on-line sellers offering a platform for different companies to market and promote their merchandise on-line, (2) web site operators being compensated for referring shoppers to different web websites that provide services and products, and (3) different online marketing preparations?  If so, how ought to the guidance be modified?
Should the guidance doc handle points which have arisen with respect to promoting that seems in digital actuality or the metaverse, and, in that case, how ought to these points be addressed?
What further points or rules regarding internet advertising ought to be addressed within the guidance doc?
What different adjustments, if any, ought to be made to the guidance doc?

References

1 Press Release, FTC, FTC Looks to Modernize Its Guidance on Preventing Digital Deception (June 3, 2022)

2 Comments could also be submitted on Regulations.gov to docket FTC-2022-0035: FTC, Digital Advertising Business Guidance Request for Information (June 3, 2022)

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