WBK Industry News - Federal Regulatory Developments

FTC to Modernize Guidance on Digital Deception

Recently, the FTC announced that it was seeking public comment on how they might modernize the agency’s digital marketing and advertising guidance, commonly known as the “.com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising” (.com Disclosures).  Originally published in 2013, the .com Disclosures provided guidance to businesses on marketing and advertising through digital mediums.  The FTC expressed that with the growth and increased sophistication of the digital space, new guidance regarding potential malfeasance is required.

The FTC staff is seeking comments on:

  • The use of sponsored and promoted advertising on social media;
  • advertising embedded in games and virtual reality and microtargeted advertisements;
  • the ubiquitous use of dark patterns, manipulative user interface designs used on websites and mobile apps, and in digital advertising that pose unique risks to consumers;
  • whether the current guidance adequately addresses advertising on mobile devices;
  • whether additional guidance is needed to reflect the multi-party selling arrangements involved in online commerce and affiliate marketing arrangements;
  • how the 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 comment period began June 3, 2022, and runs until August 2, 2022.