FTC’s Role in Promulgating Laws about Digital Marketing


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Digital marketing and an online presence are utilized by many companies to take advantage of the growing need for the internet connection to an increasing e-commerce world. Because of this, the Federal Trade Commission is pressed to implement guidelines and strategies that are morally and ethically responsible.

This would prevent businesses from advertising or using certain methods that are not permitted by these same organizations through standard means. Text messages, graphics that are both static and interactive, video and audio files and other digital are all connected in these matters. The rules create by the FTC are to protect both businesses and consumers alike so that there is a balance and credibility for these companies.

To remain morally responsible, a business must tell the truth without misleading customers. This is often difficult when using certain techniques that draw the public in with flashy or visually appealing images and video. Even audio used in these media steams could be persuasive in drawing someone in and creating the want to purchase something. However, products must provide the claim the company details, and the business must substantiate that the standard use does give the expected results. Without this, it is possible to return the item for a refund in many circumstances. Additionally, if there is an accident, it is possible to sue when injury occurs.

Protecting Consumers and the Company

There are many ways to protect both the business that is selling products or services and the customer as the same time. One of these methods is privacy. The privacy of purchase, of an online profile and through unknown transactions to the public all safeguard the customer and keep the information only within the business involved in the sale. This keeps credit card numbers, financial issues and laws regarding the privacy of a citizen of the country protected from possible onlookers or online lurkers. Beefing up the security through a Secure Socket Layer is necessary to keep credit card purchases valid and safe.

Protection through laws and regulations may be viewed through mail, phone, warranties and how products are made. It is important to ensure local, state and federal laws are adhered to by businesses through marketing in the digital world. Non-compliance often leads to harsh penalties and fines that are costly to the company. This means that misleading consumers is prohibited. Fancy marketing campaigns may draw the public in by captivating the mind, but of the ads are vague, misconstrue the truth or are outright lies, the business may find itself in trouble fast with organizations that regulate online traffic and content.

Unfair and Deceptive Ads

The FTC Act provides protections in various forms, but any ads that are deceptive or unfair to the public through any use of medium is not permitted. The advertisements must tell the truth about services and products. The regulations allow freedom in how the truth is delivered, but the standard and usual use of the products or service may not be disguised or vague. This could lead to injury when the item has been used through standard and usual practices. Any issues with safety, health and the performance of the product must be disclosed and when they pose a risk, the problem must be eliminated or lawsuits occur.

Reviewing and Legal Assistance

When using digital media to market to consumers, the company requires the employ of a website designer, agencies to advertise the product or service and IT agents that are aware of what needs to be completed to draw traffic to the site and items being sold. However, before this may be implemented, everything must be reviewed to ensure the content matches requirements imposed by the FTC and similar organizations. If any issues with false or misleading claims are found, they must be removed before published online. Otherwise, the company may face legal action. Some suits may arise when the agency or organization knows that an ad or website content is not true.

Protecting the company is one of the most important things management may do. In order to increase the odds of reducing or eliminating litigation, a business lawyer that is experienced in technology and the digital world is necessary to analyze everything for validity and legitimacy. This often reduces possible claims, averts the loss of profits through court room cases and negative reviews online for lies and deceit. These legal professionals may also act as an intermediate contact, so that other experts in the IT realm may review everything for what should not be included.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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