The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it 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.

“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,” says a press release published by the FTC.

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, according to the FTC. In seeking public comment on possible revisions to the guidance document, FTC officials say they are interested in the technical and legal issues that marketers, consumer advocates and others believe should be addressed.

The 2000 guide 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.

The FTC is seeking public comment through July 11, 2011. Interested parties can submit written comments electronically or in paper form.


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