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Native Ad Guidelines from the FTC

Posted on 12.22.2015

The Federal Trade Commission this week released an enforcement policy statement and a business guidance detailing its rules for native ads.

"In evaluating whether an ad's format is misleading, the Commission will scrutinize the entire ad, examining such factors as its overall appearance, the similarity of its written, spoken, or visual style to non-advertising content offered on a publisher's site, and the degree to which it is distinguishable from such other content," the policy statement said.

The FTC indicated that labels such as "advertisement" are necessary and need to be prominent upon first contact with the consumer.

"Disclosures that subsequently inform consumers of a natively formatted ad's commercial nature after they have clicked on and arrived at another page will not cure any misleading impression created when the ad is presented in the stream of a publisher site," according to the FTC statement. Essentially, the more a native ad is similar in format and topic content (blending in as it were) on the publisher's site, the more likely it is that a disclosure will be required in order to avoid or prevent deception.

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