Yesterday, TechFreedom filed comments regarding the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Request for Information (RFI) regarding revisions to the existing guidance on effective disclosures in digital advertising. We believe no significant changes are necessary to align the Guidelines with current agency practice—and that the most useful change would be an expansion of examples provided by the Commission.

“The Commission should allow for multiple requests for public comment and public workshops to analyze possible revisions to the Guidelines,” said Bilal Sayyed, TechFreedom Senior Competition Counsel, former Director of the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning and a 20-year veteran antitrust lawyer. “This approach would both follow best practices established for previous comments, and prevent the perception of a predetermined outcome and unwillingness to engage with viewpoints inconsistent with the Commission’s preferred policy outcomes.”

“The Guidelines’ flexible approach to what constitutes ‘clear and conspicuous’ disclosure should be maintained,” Sayyed continued. “If the Commission is concerned that parties are relying on the Guidelines to defend disclosures that staff believe are not clear and conspicuous, we suggest any revised Guidelines expand and revise the examples to indicate how such reliance is not justified.”

“Future Guidelines should continue to avoid a prescriptive approach to disclosures,” Sayyed concluded. “Sellers have an incentive to provide easily usable information that is relevant to consumers. A regulator’s incentive is to provide any information that some might find useful. To date, the Guidelines have not been treated as a vehicle to require or prohibit certain claims. The Commission should follow that same approach in any revised Guidelines.”


Find this release on our website, and share it on Twitter. Sayyed can be reached for comment at Read our related work on the FTC, including:

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