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FTC's New .com Disclosure Guidance - Ad Age Mini Law Lesson

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A summary of the changes to the FTC's Guidelines re Digital and Mobile Advertising

Published in: Business
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FTC's New .com Disclosure Guidance - Ad Age Mini Law Lesson

  1. 1. Mini Law Lesson: FTC’s New .com Disclosures Guidance Updated to Address Current Online and Mobile Advertising Environment Brian Heidelberger Winston & Strawn bheidelb@winston.com
  2. 2. IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER• This is not legal advice.• I am not your attorney.
  3. 3. 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
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. Material Terms Should be Close to Claim it Qualifies
  7. 7. Disclosure Needs to Consider Mobile Use
  8. 8. Important Info Can Be OnClick-Through With Proper Disclosure
  9. 9. Important Info Can Be OnClick-Through With Proper Disclosure
  10. 10. A Highlighted Link is Likely Not Enough
  11. 11. Abbreviations Are Hard to Use
  12. 12. Link Needs to be Close to Claim
  13. 13. Important Price Limitations Need to be Near Price
  14. 14. Not Just on the Check Out Page
  15. 15. Material Connection Shouldn’t Just be Disclosed Via an Unclear Short Link• Good• Bad
  16. 16. Disclosure in Multiple Tweets Can Create Difficulties
  17. 17. Consumers Don’t Understand or Read Every Hashtag
  18. 18. Disclosure of Blogger AffiliationShouldn’t be Relegated to The End

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