FTC's New .com Disclosure Guidance - Ad Age Mini Law Lesson
Mini Law Lesson: FTC’s New .com Disclosures Guidance Updated to Address Current Online and Mobile Advertising Environment Brian Heidelberger Winston & Strawn firstname.lastname@example.org
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER• This is not legal advice.• I am not your attorney.
General Rules• Law hasn’t changed• Disclosures can’t cure a false claim• Can only qualify a claim to help keep it from being misleading• If information is material it must be clearly and conspicuously disclosed• Incorporate material limitations in the claim rather than separate disclosure (when practical) – If it can easily be incorporated in text, it should be
When Using a Hyperlink to Disclose Material Terms• Use an obvious link• Label it to convey the information appropriately• Don’t relegate material terms to “terms”• Make links consistent in style• Keep it close to the information is qualifies• Take consumers directly to the qualifications on the click-through• Monitor click-through rates to assure effectiveness
Material Terms Must be Clear and Conspicuous• Try not to require scrolling• If you require scrolling give text or visual cues• Keep abreast of research on what consumers view on screen• Make disclosures before and after people “add to cart”• If sending people to store, make sure material limitations are disclosed before they get there• Repeat disclosures for long websites/or easily missed• Don’t relegate important info to “legal”• Audio Claims should have “audio” disclosures• Make the limitations easy to understand• Don’t make the ad if you can’t make it clear
Material Terms Should be Close to Claim it Qualifies