Saturday, June 11, 2011

FTC extends RFC Due Date "Dot Com Disclosures" August 10

In 2000, the Federal Trade Commission first published “Dot Com Disclosures: Information About Online Advertising,” providing advice to businesses doing business online. A lot has changed since that time, and the FTC is in the process of updating this publication. This week the FTC announced that it is extending the deadline for comments on the revised publication to August 10, 2011.

From the original May 26th notice:
The staff of the Federal Trade Commission is updating “Dot Com Disclosures: Information About Online Advertising,” the guidance document that advises businesses how federal advertising law applies to advertising and sales on the Internet. [Download “Dot Com Disclosures” here.] The online world has changed dramatically since the original guidance was published in 2000, and the FTC is seeking public comment about how it should be modified to reflect these changes. [Read staff invitation to submit comments here.]

Since the FTC staff published Dot Com Disclosures, mobile marketing has become a reality, the “App” economy has emerged, the use of “pop-up blockers” has become widespread, and online social networking has emerged and grown popular. In seeking public comment on possible revisions to the guidance document, the staff is interested in the technical and legal issues that marketers, consumer advocates, and others believe should be addressed.

The 2000 guidance emphasizes that the same consumer protection laws apply to marketers whether they operate online or not. It illustrates how online marketers should provide clear and conspicuous disclosures of information that consumers need to make informed online purchasing decisions. It also discusses how the traditional factors used to evaluate whether disclosures are likely to be clear and conspicuous apply in the context of online advertising.

In the June 10, 2011 notice, the FTC stated "At the request of a stakeholder, the comment deadline has now been extended for 30 days until August 10, 2011." Interested parties can submit comments by clicking on the following: [Submit comment electronically by clicking here.]

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