Internet Advertising Regulations and the Federal Trade Commission

There are several laws and regulations that affect Internet advertising, one of the main ones is the Federal Trade Commission Act. This allows the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help prevent unfair acts or deceptive practices by protecting the interests of both consumers and businesses. This law has been interpreted to mean that a practice, representation, or omission is deceptive if it’s likely to mislead any consumers and also affects the consumer’s decisions or behaviors regarding a particular service or product. In addition, this law states that a practice or act is unfair when it causes injury causes or it seems very likely to cause injury that is not reasonably avoidable, substantial, and it is not outweighed by the other benefits of the product or service.

There are also other FTC considerations that affect Internet advertising. Any disclosures or disclaimers must be conspicuous and also very clear to the consumer. In other words, the consumer should be able to understand the information that he is provided. But, a disclaimer alone or disclosure is typically not considered enough to fix a deceptive or false claim. The product must also be able to demonstrate under normal use its actual performance. Also, if the product or service promises a refund to unhappy consumers, then that promise must be kept.

Also, advertising on the Internet that is directed to children have different guidelines because children are not expected to comprehend or understand the information or the advertising claims that a website is making. It’s important for sellers particular those that sell to children to not misrepresent a product or its performance.

The Internet is a vast market for advertisers and marketers. If you’re considering advertising on the Internet, then you have to follow the laws and regulations that apply to advertising on this advertising medium. These rules were created to help both consumers and businesses as well as maintain the credibility of the Internet. The FTC enforces several laws the core which states that any advertisement must be truthful and not misleading to consumers, and any claims made by the advertiser must be substantiated.

It is not unusual for the FTC to periodically join other law enforcement agencies to monitor the activities on the Internet, specifically looking for deceptive or potentially false advertising claims. If you’re an Internet marketer and you’re not in compliance with the law, then you could face enforcement actions and even civil lawsuits. This could mean orders to cease-and-desist plus fines of up to $16,000 per violation.