FTC to Update Dot Com Disclosures

dot com disclosures

The internet’s come a long way in a short amount of time. At the turn of the 21st century, online marketing was in its early stages. While the web wasn’t an ad free zone, marketing platforms were fairly basic. Smartphones, social networks, and Youtube loomed in the distance; banners and email solicitations reigned supreme. The total number of users hovered at around 361 million, which accounts for a small fraction of global web activity today. As the online audience increased in size, digital marketers came up with a variety of ways to get their messages across. Although the industry underwent dramatic changes, the laws governing its behavior stayed the same. The federal Dot Com Disclosures emphasized the need for appropriate disclosure, but failed to address unforeseen contemporary concerns.

The Federal Trade Commission plans to reissue the Dot Com Disclosures with help from the public. Consumers, brands, and advocates on both sides are encouraged to share insight into the current legal and technological issues surrounding this issue. The FTC traditionally represents consumer interests, but they specifically requested input from advertisers as well. This signifies a willingness to draft a reasonable compromise. Advertisers should definitely make their voices heard. Submit comments here! You also have the option of sending feedback via snail mail.

Some may be skeptical of the agency because of its anti-business stance, but there’s no reason to fear the FTC at this time. They’re at least open to hearing alternative viewpoints, which give marketers an opportunity to explain the necessity of controversial tactics. For instance, watchdog groups often question behavioral targeting tools. Anyone familiar with this type of data collection knows it’s a completely benign method of combining anonymous geographic information, browsing history, and available demographic characteristics. Besides, there are lots of resources for those who want to block ads entirely. There’s no cause for drastic action when the responsibility truly lies with the viewers. It’s also important to note that internet advertising is one of the only thriving fields during this period of economic recovery. The FTC doesn’t want to implement job killing regulations in a time of high unemployment; however, they might be tempted to so if the response appears one sided. Consumer lobbyists tend to capitalize on these opportunities to influence legislation. This is a chance to finally educate people about staples, such as tracking cookies, retargeting, and location based services. Set the record straight by commenting today!

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