Compliance in Advertising – By Stacey Sicard

by FeedFront Staff on August 5, 2009

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has taken action in the recent months to target advertisers in the nutraceutical market for advertising deemed misleading. I couldn’t be more thrilled.

This is something that is long overdue and unfortunately, even with the changes that have been made by those who are FTC compliant; the acceptance by most advertisers is slow at best.

The FTC has come down on some continuity program offers for statements claimed in their advertising and have offered guidance to those willing to make the changes on their own.

The advertisers that are in it for the long run have adhered to the requests from the FTC, whereas those that are in it for the short term are making it very difficult to compete.

The company where I work has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on compliance lawyers and has made the required changes to our landing pages and creative. Unfortunately, we are seeing traffic by some long standing partners and networks redirected to non-compliant offers which continue to convert higher on the front end.

With enough complaints to the FTC from consumers, eventually the non-compliant offers will have their merchant accounts pulled, close shop and reopen within days, peddling a new offer. It’s frustrating to be among those trying to run an honest campaign with a legitimate offer.

It is a never-ending battle to compete with this ongoing problem and until the non-compliant advertisers feel the repercussions of remaining non-compliant, things will not change.

Even though there are no strict laws published at this time regarding compliance, if the networks and publishers are all on the same page with the recent guidelines the FTC disseminated, it would be much easier to rise to the top.

This industry needs a clean, fresh start on how we promote products. As advertisers, we have become accustomed to sky-rocketing CPA’s and higher re-bills on products.

The last thing we need is for a handful of non-compliant advertisers to ruin it for the rest. We, as an industry need to come together and set realistic limits for all to follow.

There’s enough of a market for everyone to have a piece.

Stacey Sicard is the Director of Marketing and Advertising at E4 Media and the founder of TheAffiliateCore.com.

Download the entire FeedFront issue 6 here – http://feedfront.com/feedfront-issue6.pdf
FeedFront issue 6 articles can be found here as well: http://feedfront.com/archives/article00date/2009/06

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