In an effort to better understand native advertising and its implications for consumers, the FTC will host a workshop in December to “do a deep dive into the popular practice, bringing together publishing and advertising industry reps, consumer advocates, academics, and of course, regulators to explore the consumer protection implications,” according Katy Bachman in Adweek.
With the changing nature of content and advertising, the lines are blurring and causing confusion for readers, according to Lesley Fair, a senior attorney with the FTC’s consumer protection bureau. “”The entertainment portion of a show ended and the commercials began. The two column article ran on one side of the newspaper and the ad on the other. Or the Web page had the content in the middle with a banner ad running across the top. Things are more complicated now.”
The workshop will likely be the first step toward new FTC guidelines that could be issued for advertisers and publishers to clarify just where the lines are regarding deceptive or unfair advertising practices.
We’ll keep an eye on this for you as it develops. Meanwhile, let us know what your company is doing with native advertising and sponsored content. It’s a brave new world out there and we all will be learning the rules.