FTC Digital Disclosures Comment

In August 2022, TINA.org submitted a Comment in response to the FTC’s request for information regarding its .com Disclosures guidance, which was last revised in March 2013 and which focuses on how advertising disclosures should be presented in digital marketing materials to avoid deception.

In its Comment, TINA.org highlights three marketing trends occurring on metaverse and gaming platforms that the updated Guidance should specifically address: advergames; sponsored content within organic virtual worlds and games; and avatar brand influencers — both human-controlled and AI-generated. Next, the Comment highlights various dark patterns that the Guidance should address, including confirmshaming, clickbait, forced continuity offers and limited supply/time pressures. The Comment then discusses issues relating to short-lived digital content before turning to disclosure issues that occur when narrative captions in social media platforms are not conspicuous. TINA.org then discusses the need for disclosure substantiation by marketers, and then tackles the issue of marketing to young children on digital platforms, arguing that disclosures simply do not work for this young cohort. Finally, TINA.org references select disclosure research and recommends that the FTC pursue further research on disclosures in the ever-expanding digital landscape.

Click here to read TINA.org’s full comment.