Time for Fine Print on Social Media Ads: FTC
The old advertising rules still apply
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Mar 13, 2013 11:30 AM CDT
In this May 16, 2012 file photo, a Facebook logo is displayed on the screen of an iPad in New York.   (AP Photo/James H. Collins, File)

(Newser) – Just because an ad's on Twitter doesn't mean it can get away with being misleading. The FTC today unveiled new guidelines for social media advertising, saying that it must adhere to the same essential rules as traditional advertising. For instance, ads must make clear the fact that they are indeed ads; if a celebrity is being paid to hawk a product through her Twitter feed, she must announce it.

One way to do that, the FTC suggests: Pop in "ad:" at the beginning of the post. Such disclosures must be visible to phone users and can't "(mislead) a significant minority of reasonable consumers." Meanwhile, weight-loss product ads have to reveal their products' average effectiveness, the Wall Street Journal notes in another example. Twitter has already come up with ways of squeezing in disclosures. Short political ads, for instance, appear with a purple box; hovering your mouse over the box provides funding information.

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
Mar 14, 2013 10:50 AM CDT
I'll sleep better tonight knowing the FTC is pissing away tax dollars...err...I mean doing their job.
Mar 13, 2013 11:54 AM CDT
Why is the photo of facebook? Get your shit together newser.
Mar 13, 2013 11:42 AM CDT
useless twitter already uses the @ and #, so why not add the $ to the shitty equation. Twitter : now used for a slew of TV shows to post what irrelevant people have to say about the show. To say it's annoying is a GROSS understatement...