Dot Com Disclosures Guide (FTC)

The “.com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising” is a guide published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States. The Dotcom Disclosures guide was first issued by the FTC in 2000 and has since been updated to address the evolving landscape of digital advertising, including websites, social media, mobile apps, and other online platforms. The purpose of the guide is to help businesses comply with the FTC Act, which prohibits deceptive and unfair practices in advertising.

The Dot Com Disclosures guide outlines the principles that advertisers should follow when making disclosures in digital advertising to avoid deceptive or unfair practices. Here are some key points from the guide:

Clear and Conspicuous Disclosures: Disclosures should be clear, noticeable, and easily understood by consumers. They should be placed near the claims they qualify and avoid being buried or hidden. Disclosures should be in a size, color, and font that are easily readable.

Labeling and Prominence: Disclosures should be labeled clearly to indicate their significance and importance. Vague or ambiguous terms should be avoided. Advertisers should ensure that disclosures are prominent enough to draw the attention of consumers.

Hyperlinks and Pop-ups: If using hyperlinks or pop-ups to provide additional information or disclosures, the guide advises that the link or pop-up should be clearly labeled and easily identifiable. Consumers should be able to access the disclosure without leaving the relevant page.

Multimedia and Video Advertising: Disclosures in audio and video formats should be made in a way that is noticeable and understandable to consumers. Visual elements should be supplemented with textual or audio disclosures when necessary.

Mobile Advertising: The guide recognizes the limitations of small screens in mobile advertising. Advertisers are advised to ensure that disclosures are still noticeable and accessible to consumers without requiring excessive scrolling, zooming, or other actions.

The Dot Com Disclosures guide serves as a resource for businesses and advertisers to understand the FTC’s expectations regarding disclosures in digital advertising. Adhering to these guidelines can help ensure compliance with the FTC Act, which prohibits deceptive and unfair practices in advertising.