FTC’s Stealth-Ad Warning Not Strong Enough

This week the Federal Trade Commission addressed the blurring of the lines between advertising and editorial content on search engines.

From MediaPost:

Search engines are increasingly blurring the differences between paid ads and organic listings, the Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday.

“In recent years, the features traditional search engines use to differentiate advertising from natural search results have become less noticeable to consumers, especially for advertising located immediately above the natural results,” Mary Engle, FTC associate director for advertising practices, said in letters to search engine operators. The letters marked the agency’s first major guidance to search engines since 2002, when the agency stated that search companies should clearly differentiate sponsored ads from organic results.

The letters were sent to dozens of companies, including Google, Bing, AOL and Yahoo. 

APM’s Marketplace has a smart interview here,  and the New York Times provides these helpful examples from Google . . .

Read the rest at Sneak Adtack.

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2 Responses to FTC’s Stealth-Ad Warning Not Strong Enough

  1. Don’t know how often you use Youtube; I use it for, “How to play ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’ On Guitar.” Recently their search engine algorithm changed to “All search criteria return sponsored ads.” It’s uncanny, and un-useful.

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