FTC, Native Advertising, and Guidelines

Friday, March 18, 2016

Known by many names, like native advertising, sponsored content, partner content, native advertising has quickly become a cornerstone of publisher revenue generation. The search engines have their rules where publisher sites need to make clear delineations between native advertising and editorial content. You don't do that, Google and BIng will penalize you.

A few things

, In late December 2015, the FTC released guidance for native advertising.

I attended a really good webinar on FTC guidelines for Sponsored Content / Native Advertising. In December 2015, the FTC put out guidelines for the first time on Sponsored Content / Native Advertising. Based on what I learned yesterday, we will want to do the following:

  • Write up some information and provide links to the FTC guidelines, put on ePublishing and send a note about the content out via Mailchimp
  • Directly review any of our clients that use native advertising, in any form on the site, and tap them on the shoulder more directly to indicate elements of the FTC guidelines that we think put them in jeopardy.
The big news that apparently happened yesterday was Lord & Taylor being the first site reprimanded for violation under a consent decree.
The Good News:
If clients who implemented sponsored content / native advertising on our sites took our original recommendations, they are pretty safe. A minor label change is all that is needed.
For clients that kinda went their own way with sponsored content / native advertising ... they may need to do some work to be in compliance with the guidelines.
SO a few client examples that might be in jeopardy:

This was an extremely useful webinar. It is a CLE for lawyers, thus the cost. BUT it was extremely interesting. I took a ton of screenshots. The real value of the meeting was the conversation between the FTC representative and an experienced media lawyer. I can't seem to get it to re-play.
I'm not sure you can still take it ...
In either case, here is the link to the FTC's guidelines:
Here is the article that prompted us to watch the webinar:
And with that, Happy Thursday and Day We All Become Irish,