FTC Compliance is not a new topic for the BrandVerity blog--in fact, our first post after announcing our launch touched on FTC issues! And we’ve added a fair bit more content since 2009. In 2013, Sam Engel explored .Com Disclosures with the help of law professor Eric Goldman and looked at how well affiliates on Twitter were complying with those standards. We also recently took a look at e-cigarette companies and the potential for the FTC to enact further regulation in that space.
But quite honestly, a lot of what we know about FTC issues and a lot of the advice we give comes from the plethora of really great publications and blogs that are out there reporting on these topics every day. We’re thrilled to say that many of the authors and contributors to these blogs are going to lend their expertise to us over the next few weeks and months. We want to be sure to share the love and send our readers over to their sites as well!
This post is the beginning of what we hope will be a growing list of resources regarding FTC Compliance issues and is definitely a work-in-progress. We’d love your input, so if you have a favorite source that isn’t included here, please reach out and let us know—either in the comments below or at BrandVerity!
The Big One:
The FTC publishes tons of information to help both consumers and businesses understand its policies, have insight into its decisions, and better understand what key phrases as “Truth in Advertising” mean. Their Press Releases, Media Resources, and Tips for Businesses are essential reading.
Written by the attorneys of Ifrah Law in Washington DC, this blog focuses on a variety of topics around FTC and state Attorney General action in e-commerce. Rachel Hirsch, an attorney with Ifrah Law, is a particular expert in the intersection of regulatory law and online advertising. They do a great job of breaking FTC decisions and policies down into actionable tactics for brands. It’s incredibly legible and accessible--even if you aren’t a legal expert.
The attorneys at D&G LLC, including Gary Kibel, put out a great set of press alerts (both email and online) on all kinds of legal news. They usually divide posts into three parts--giving background, a decision, and the significance of that decision--making the posts really helpful for those of us who don’t actively follow court cases over the span of several years. Their posts are perhaps best read by email, where you can subscribe to the sets of announcements most relevant to you.or our readers, those are likely “Digital Media, Technology, and Privacy” and “Advertising, Marketing, and Promotions.”
William Rothbard of FTC Ad Law was, in a prior life, an attorney for the FTC, making him uniquely positioned to comment upon the Commission’s decisions. His blog does a great job of illuminating the gray areas, dissenting opinions, and potential ramifications of FTC decisions as they come out. He also makes useful connections between ongoing and past cases that help the reader understand the scope of FTC and FCC regulatory concerns. Recent emphases have been on the TCPA, health care claims and substantiations, and the nature of conspicuous disclosures.
The Hinch Newman LLP Blog, written by attorney Richard B. Newman, covers a variety of aspects of internet law, with an emphasis on advertising and digital media issues. They do a particularly good job of pointing out what the potential ramifications of various decisions are, making it a useful read for folks who know they need to stay on top of the issues, but aren't certain where to start. From the FTC to the FCC to the CFPB, their postings cover what you need to know as regulations emerge, change, and are defined.
The Klein, Moynihan, Turco Blog gives particularly good updates on telemarketing law, as well as with the FTC and online gambling. Their posts breaking down the 2012 TCPA update and who is responsible for TCPA violations are must-reads if you work with pay-per-call affiliates.
Run by Kelley, Drye, & Warren, an advertising law group, Ad Law Access posts regular detailed updates and opinions on developments in telemarketing, class action, FTC, and and privacy law.
Information Law Group provides updates on advertising law of all sorts, including Better Business Bureau, FTC, and FCC policy updates.
Whitepapers and Key Documents:
Written by Gary Kibel, a partner with Davis & Gilbert LLP, and his colleagues, this just-published report details the must-know decisions in advertising and marketing law from 2014, while also giving great advice on what to look out for in 2015. Covering everything from ad tech to environmental claims to data security, this report is essential reading for anyone wanting to be up to date on what various governmental agencies might be looking for in terms of disclosures and compliance across a variety of industries.
Written in collaboration with Richard B. Newman of Hinch Newman, LLP, the Performance Marketing Association’s guide to blogging and new media disclosures is essential reading for bloggers, affiliates, and any brand or manager who works with performance marketing. It’s thorough, comprehensive, and breaks down the key issues in endorsements and disclosures in the current media landscape.
As the leading source for news and information in the advertising and marketing worlds, Advertising Age stays on top of changes to FTC and FCC advertising law. Katie Kaye and Brian Heidelberger do great jobs of covering those developments and keeping ad agencies, in particular, apprised of best practices for mitigating risk.
Performance Marketing Insider, a news source for performance and affiliate marketers, often posts updates on FTC and FCC decisions. They also maintain an active feed of “Legal Challenges” beyond regulatory concerns. Richard B. Newman is a frequent contributor along with their own stable of writers.
FeedFront, a quarterly magazine focused on affiliate marketing, occasionally publishes articles that address FTC and FCC issues as they relate to performance marketing. At 500 words or less, these are quick, digestible takes on how regulatory issues can impact the affiliate world. These articles are usually written by experts like Rachel Hirsch and Gary Kibel, and regularly feature members of the BrandVerity team as well.
Geno Prussakov, who blogs at AM Navigator, also keeps his readers apprised of developments in FTC regulations as they relate to affiliate marketing. In particular, his posts on disclosures and endorsements are key reads if you're working in the affiliate space.
General News Sources:
Bloomberg Business covers just about everything--but they do legal issues particularly well. They report on the key developments in FTC and FCC regulations for a general business audience.