FTC’s Native Advertising Guidance and Enforcement Policy

FTC Press Release – December 22, 2015

FTC Enforcement Policy Statement on Native Advertising: pdf (16 pages)

FTC Guide for Business: Native Advertising

News Reports:

FTC Issues New Rules for Native Advertising on the Internet – Re/Code

The FTC has Finally Given Some Specific Guidance on What Native Ads are Meant to Look Like – BusinessInsider

Trade Group Takes Issue With FTC’s Native Advertising Guidelines; IAB Says Some Guidelines are ‘Overly Prescriptive’ – Wall Street Journal


StudyGoing Native: Effects of Disclosure Position and Language on the Recognition and Evaluation of Online Native Advertising – Bartosz W. Wojdynskia & Nathaniel J. Evans (Grady College – University of Georgia), published in the Journal of Advertising. Study News Coverage: Consumers Can’t Tell Native Ads From Editorial Content

Academic PaperNative Advertising and Endorsement: Schema, Source-Based Misleadingness, and Omission of Material Facts (pdf; 23 pages) – Chris Jay Hoofnagle (School of Information, University of California, Berkeley, and School of Law, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology) and Eduard Meleshinsky (Bryan Schwartz Law)


Quote of the Day – on Online Commercial Surveillance:

From the ever interesting Maciej Ceglowski at his Idle Words:

“The proximate reasons for the culture of total surveillance are clear. Storage is cheap enough that we can keep everything. Computers are fast enough to examine this information, both in real time and retrospectively. Our daily activities are mediated with software that can easily be configured to record and report everything it sees upstream. But to fix surveillance, we have to address the underlying reasons that it exists. These are no mystery either. State surveillance is driven by fear. And corporate surveillance is driven by money.”

Read the whole thing, including details of his six, sensible, suggested fixes: (1) the right of users of an online site or service to download data (in usable format) that was provided to or collected by the online site or service; (2) the right at any time to delete one’s account (and all associated personal information) from an online service; (3) a ban on selling or sharing behavioral data, as well as relatively short limits on its storage (e.g., 90 days); (4) physical turn-internet-connectivity-off switches for IoT connected devices (which should be required to remain functioning in the off state); (5) a ban on third-party ad tracking (with sites only able to target ads based on page content itself and information the site has about the visitor), and (6) legally enforceable privacy promises with significant penalties that act as meaningful deterrents.

Also: Watch his presentation on “The Website Obesity Crisis” at Vimeo (53 minutes)

Ad Tracking/Blocking War (link round-up)

The Problems:

20 Home Pages, 500 Trackers Loaded: Media Succumbs to Monitoring Frenzy – Frédéric Filloux at Monday Note

The Verge’s Web Sucks – blog.lmorchard.com

The Cost of Mobile Ads on 50 News Websites – New York Times; See also the Times’ Putting Mobile Ad Blockers to the Test

How Much of Your Audience is Fake? – Marketers Thought the Web Would Allow Perfectly Targeted Ads But it Hasn’t Worked Out That Way – BloombergBusiness

Facebook Ads Are All-Knowing, Unblockable, and in Everyone’s Phone – BloombergBusiness

Analysis and Opinion:

Why It’s OK to Block Ads – James Williams at the University of Oxford’s Practical Ethics blog

Why Publishers Don’t Care (Yet) that the Mobile Web is so Awful – Peter Rojas

Popping the Publishing Bubble – Ben Thompson at Stratechery

Welcome to Hell: Apple vs. Google vs. Facebook and the Slow Death of the Web – Nily Patel at The Verge

Ad Blocking: The Unnecessary Internet Apocalypse – The Ad Industry Needs to Disrupt the Disruptors – Randall Rothenberg, CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, at Advertising Age; But, see IAB’s subsequent mea culpa Getting LEAN with Digital Ad UX

How We Pass the Buck – Ads, Blocking, and How We Make Sure It’s Never Actually Our Fault – Anil Dash

Ad Blocking and the Future of the Web – Jeffrey Zeldman

Ad Blocking – Seth Godin

Advertising is Unwanted – Dave Winer

Facebook, Others Confuse Consumers for Profit – Nate Cardozo of EFF at San Jose Mercury News Opinion

News You Can Use:

A List of Content Blockers for iOS 9 – The Loop

A Study About Content Blockers for iOS 9 – Carlos Oliveira at Oli.78

Related – The Content Wars: Alternative Distribution and Platforms:

AMP and Incentives – Tim Kadlec at his TimKadlec.com

Notes from the Platform’s Edge – Platforms for Everyone, Publications For No One – The Awl

Open Standards Without All That Nasty Interop – Dave Winer

Related – General:

Re/code’s Sale and Life After Advertising – Katie Benner at BloombergView

Websites Can Now Identify You By the Way You Type – A New Kind of Surveillance that Gets Very Little Attention – AlterNet