The FTC is taking another step toward helping marketers, and others, ensure they are complying with the requirements for ad disclosures. Prominent disclosures have been a priority for a number of years now, and they continue to make efforts to force companies to clearly display their ads.
The latest step they are taking is releasing a new report, which they titled, “Blurred Lines: An Exploration of Consumers’ Advertising Recognition in the Contexts of Search Engines and Native Advertising.” This report goes over what they call ‘common sense’ techniques that should be used when identifying ads.
Different ad formats are looked at to indicate how they should be setup in order to ensure it is clear that the ad is actually an ad, and not confused with organic content. The information they provide is drawn from a study that looked to determine how the average user will see a given ad.
Their goal is to ensure that ads are obviously ads, while still having as little ‘interruption’ as possible from the message the ad is trying to convey.
In the report they say, “The FTC continues to be extremely concerned that consumers understand what they’re seeing when they look at content online.” They went on to say, “The FTC is not approving any particular technique tested.”
Instead, the report just provides general guidelines and recommendations on how to make sure any given ad is in compliance.