Canadians should mind the new FTC ad disclosure guidelines

The US Federal Trade Commission has updated its decade-old Dot-Com Disclosures rules, which dictate how marketers must make ad disclosures on online platforms. Marketers must provide clear and conspicuous ad disclosures regardless of screen size and restrict the use of hyperlinks to disclosures on another page. The new rules are more flexible with regards to disclosure placement, allowing terms to be placed "as close as possible" to the advertisement to take smaller mobile screens into account.

Canadian advertisers need to pay attention to these rules, since content hosted on a US server or that is served to US customers falls under the new regulations. The primary takeaway for marketers is to be upfront with your customers: Use clear language, make disclosures easy to find and access from any device, and provide any and all information that is relevant to your product or service such as pricing limitations or offer qualifications. The new guidelines are fairly straightforward and honest advertisers have nothing to worry about, but it's best to review them and make sure any campaigns that may touch US consumers are on the right side of the law.

For an overview of the new rules, visit Adweek's website, or go to Advertising Age for a more thorough rundown of the regulations.