Compliance With FTC Internet Advertising Campaign Regulations

social media logos on phone, internet advertising campaign

Many businesses engage in internet advertising campaigns in order to grow their market sizes, but they must be careful to make certain that their advertisements comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s regulations. If a business is found to have violated the FTC’s rules, it may face multiple penalties. An FTC attorney might help his or her client with making certain its advertising campaign complies with the laws so that the client is not faced with prosecution for violating the rules.

Rules For Internet Advertising Campaigns

The Federal Trade Commission is charged with promulgating and enforcing regulations for internet advertising. Under the law, businesses are prohibited from using advertising strategies that are deceptive and that are unfair trade practices. A deceptive advertisement is one that is likely to cause people to act and that contains misrepresentations or misleading information. Unfair practices are those that cause injuries or harms that are substantial, not reasonably avoidable and not outweighed by any benefits.

There are numerous regulations that have been put into place under the Federal Trade Commission Act, which provide further guidance about activities that businesses are forbidden from engaging in and what their advertisements should contain. The FTC requires that businesses include disclosures. The disclosures themselves must meet specific guidelines under the regulations. Any claims that are made in the advertisements must be substantiated. If an advertisement leaves out important information, it may be considered to be misleading.

For example, if a product is offered via an internet advertisement, and the business does not include shipping date information, the product must be sent to the buyers within 30 days. Marketers, website designers and advertising agencies may all be held to be responsible if they do not substantiate claims that are made to them by advertisers on their own before posting the ads. There are numerous other rules that an FTC attorney might disseminate to clients depending on the clients’ business models.

Potential Enforcement Actions

If the FTC finds that a company has violated its regulations with the company’s advertising campaign, it may take a number of different enforcement actions depending on the severity of the violation. It may issue cease-and-desist orders, fencing-in provisions, corrective advertising orders or numerous other informational remedies, including bans, fines and others. While it’s best for businesses to make certain that their campaigns don’t violate the law to begin with, an FTC attorney might help to defend against allegations of FTC violations that are pending.