FTC Modernizes Its “.com Disclosures”

by | Aug 31, 2022 | Law and Business

Did you know that over the last five years, there has been a massive entry of consumers and businesses into the digital marketing space? However, this increase in number comes with its fair share of vulnerable consumers. For years, the FTC has been integral in shielding Americans from unsafe business practices. This has been possible thanks to stringent advertising and marketing guidelines. The most prominent is the disclosure guidance that requires businesses to disclose even the most insignificant information regarding their products to consumers. But how prepared is the FTC to handle emerging issues in Digital Advertising?


Original Guidance

In 2013, the FTC came up with guidance on digital advertising and marketing, “.com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising.” Several years later, this guidance has had its share of hits and misses. The misses experts attributed to the dynamic digital advertising space have necessitated the FTC to make room for key revisions in the discloser guidance to ensure consumers are adequately covered. For example, in 2013, Instagram did not even provide influencers the ability to add “sponsored” or “paid for by” on their stories or posts.

Thus, most people are inclined to agree that the nine years the “.com Disclosure” has been in play is a long time in the digital advertising space. Furthermore, the FTC is as effective as the guidance they provide. Simply put, the consumer protection agency needs to constantly revise its acts to capture all the constant changes to social media marketing and other online marketing to protect consumers. Accordingly, the commission has set in motion several initiatives aimed at improving disclosures by businesses on their product in the digital marketing space.



Consequently, the FTC sought public comments into the impending modernization revisions. The revisions will eliminate current loopholes that companies used to avoid liability. The revisions also include new requirements for influencer advertising and other digital advertising to ensure consumers are covered from modern deceptive practices. Key areas targeted by the Agency’s potential revisions are social media or influencer advertising and micro-targeted ads.

Since the majority of businesses use some form of online advertising, including influencer or social media advertising, now is the time to make sure your advertising practices are up to date with the current guidelines to minimize the changes that will have to be made once the new rules come into effect. Check out advertising and marketing and how to make effective disclosures, to help your business comply with advertising disclosures today.

If you would like more information on how the updated disclosures impact your business, schedule a free consultation with our team today!


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