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Regulating Online Ads

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Do you advertise your business online? Here are some things you may need to know.

When you scroll through your email bin, you see so many spam advertisements that guarantee either to shrink parts of your body or enlarge others that you may not realize that advertising and marketing on the internet is, in fact, regulated.

The Federal Trade Commission is a government agency that prevents deceptive practices, which mislead consumers and affect consumers’ decisions about the product or service in any medium. In order for an ad to pass muster, it must both tell the truth and must not leave out relevant information. Disclaimers, like “these claims have never been substantiated and the product is likely to make your hair fall out” must be clear and conspicuous and demonstrations must show how the product will perform under normal use.

Dot-com Disclosures, a guide to online advertising regulation, is available on the FTC website so if you advertise online, read it carefully – otherwise the only thing that will be enlarged are your legal fees.

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