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If one year equals seven in dog years, nine years is probably close to a century in technology time. That’s why the FTC is taking a fresh look at its guidance to businesses on digital advertising – and we’re asking for your input.

The FTC published its original .com Disclosures guidance in 2000. The document was updated in 2013 to reflect developments in the digital marketplace. Now it’s time for a start-to-finish reboot, given the major changes in advertising tactics and techniques that marketers use. You’ll want to take a close look at the Request for Comments, but one particular concern is the increased use of dark patterns, manipulative user interface design, and other forms of digital deception that pose unique risks to consumers online and in the mobile space. Here are some of the related issues about which the FTC wants your feedback:

  • the use of sponsored and promoted advertising on social media;
  • ads embedded in games and virtual reality and microtargeted advertisements
  • whether current guidance adequately addresses advertising on mobile devices;
  • whether additional guidance is needed to reflect affiliate marketing and other the multi-party selling arrangements;
  • how guidance on the use of hyperlinks can be strengthened to better protect consumers; and
  • the adequacy of online disclosures when consumers must navigate multiple webpages. 

The FTC is accepting feedback through August 2, 2022. Read the Request for Comments for details about how to submit your public comment. 


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