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When the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection started the Business Blog in 2010, we promised readers “a minimum of ho-hum, a maximum of how-to, and as little yadda yadda yadda as a legal website can manage.” More than 1,000 Business Blog posts later and we’re still striving to keep things engaging and enlightening (although being a legal website and all, we’ve succeeded is cutting out only two of the yaddas).

The FTC’s unique dual mission is to protect consumers and promote competition. In addition to law enforcement, a critical part of our job is to help consumers access accurate information. Another component is to offer companies guidance about complying with the law. There’s a time for case precedent and C.F.R. cites, but occasionally it’s best to conduct that conversation in an informal voice – and the Business Blog is Exhibit A.

We’ve rapped about lice, parodied Poe, and took to the dance floor for a disco-inspired primer on employers’ responsibilities under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. We aim to keep the content informative and the popular cultural references at least remotely relevant. We do our best to be scrupulously accurate about the law, but we’re also happy when readers ask “Are you sure this is a government blog?”

But the Business Blog is only one part of the Bureau of Consumer Protection’s Business Center. For the convenience of business owners, advertisers, marketing executives, and the attorneys who represent them, we divide the resources of the Business Center into five sections:

  • Advertising & Marketing. That’s where we cover topics like health claims, endorsements, Made in USA, and telemarketing.
  • Credit & Finance. That’s the financial hub, addressing debt collection, credit, billing, and payments.
  • Privacy & Data Security. Look there for information about – obviously – consumer privacy and data security, but also credit reporting, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield.
  • Selected Industries. This page links to one-stop portals for businesses covered by particular FTC rules – for example, auto dealers, members of the funeral industry, or companies that sell clothing and textiles.
  • Protecting Small Businesses. The newest addition to the site, that’s where we curate just-the-facts tips on cybersecurity and scams targeting small businesses.

Visit a page relevant to your line of work and you’ll see a similar structure throughout. For example, on the Data Security page, showcased at the top is featured guidance – our newest or most popular publications. These are informal staff brochures written in a get-to-the-point style for executives who put the busi- in business. Scroll down for more titles. Some offer basic advice to businesses of any size and in any sector. (Start with Security and Data Breach Response are two example.) Others focus on developing areas of the marketplace – like Careful Connections: Building Security in the Internet of Things and Mobile Health App Developers: FTC Best Practices. Scroll all the way down for videos, FTC-produced two-minute drills on timely topics.

The right side of each page has informative features, too. At the top are the five most recent ICYMI Business Blog posts related to the topic. Below that is the real treasure trove – Legal Resources. Looking for every data security case the FTC has brought in the past decade, a link to last week’s PrivacyCon 2018, or that ancient FTC report about “the wireless World Wide Web”? (Give us a break. It was 2002.) Legal Resources is where you’ll find it.

We’re often asked what kind of approval a company needs to link to our site or distribute FTC materials. The simple answer is none. The FTC’s website policy spells out the specifics, but it boils down to this: Just about everything on and is in the public domain and isn’t subject to copyright restrictions. We’re delighted when businesses, consumer advocates, government agencies, and others share our resources on their own sites or via social media.

Finally, if we’ve learned anything from advertisers in the past 103 years, it’s to listen to our target market. It’s only fitting that, as the FTC and our partners across the country join to celebrate the 20th National Consumer Protection Week, we ask you this question: What can we do to make the Business Center – and the next 1,000 Business Blog posts – responsive to your needs?

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

March 08, 2018
Congratulations on this major milestone, Lesley! I always look forward to reading your blog — and I always learn something useful from it. How you manage to be both entertaining and erudite is a wonder. Thank you for your words of wisdom!
Liza with a z
March 08, 2018
My only request is more jazz hands and studio 54 references for the next 1000.
Joseph Ainsworth
March 08, 2018
I'm in need of a vacation from this place
March 09, 2018
Thank you so much for the extra efforts which this Agency has extent to the public. These postings/information has been very helpful in understand many issues and has given the business owners and the consumer the tools to protect their rights under the law.
Marcey T.
March 09, 2018
+1 on the entertaining and erudite comment....and keep the jazz hands coming. I enjoy both the content of your blogs and the manner in which the information is presented. Congrats on hitting 1,000, Lesley!
william casey
March 12, 2018
thank you
March 12, 2018
thank you for your help
March 30, 2018
Thank you, love your humor.

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