December 5th, 2013
As Online Ads Look More Like News Articles, F.T.C. Warns Against Deception By , New Yor
By EDWARD WYATT
New York Times
WASHINGTON — What happens when advertising stops being obvious?
The Federal Trade Commission, charged with protecting consumers and guarding against deceptive advertising practices, acknowledges it does not know.
But faced with a growing wave of digital advertising that is intended to look like the news articles and features of the publications where they appear, the commission is warning advertisers that it intends to vigorously enforce its rules against misleading advertising.
The practice of what is now known as native advertising or sponsored content — and has been referred to as advertorial or infomercial — has grown more aggressive on the Internet. That is because companies and brands have the ability to target specific audiences and individuals and to get instant feedback when consumers react to what is being shown.