Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
UCS Invicta: Integrated Flash
Deploy flash memory technology to
deliver peak workload performance.

Find out more>>
World Wide Web
Cisco UCS Invicta Series flash memory systems
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
FTC Cracks Down on Search Engine Advertising Practices
FTC Cracks Down on Search Engine Advertising Practices

By Jennifer LeClaire
June 26, 2013 1:47PM

    Bookmark and Share
"Over the past decade the industry has changed and so have the ways in which search results are presented. The mobile Internet didn't exist then, for example," said analyst Greg Sterling. "In many instances there has been a blurring of the distinctions between ads and non-ads in search." The FTC has warned Google, Yahoo and Microsoft about search ad practices.
 


The Federal Trade Commission has issued a strong warning to Google, Yahoo and Bing to "clearly and prominently" distinguish advertising from search results. The regulatory agency said it has seen the companies mixing results over the past decade.

In 2002, the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection published a letter -- widely known as the "2002 Search Engine Letter" -- advising search-engine companies about the potential for consumers to be deceived, in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act, unless search engines clearly and prominently distinguished search-based advertising from other search results.

After that letter was issued, the FTC said, search engines embraced the guidance and distinguished paid search results or other advertising on their Web site. But the search engines have since loosened that embrace, the FTC said. Hence the new warning letter.

Avoiding Potential Deception

"Although the ways in which search engines retrieve and present results, and the devices on which consumers view these results, are constantly evolving, the principles underlying the 2002 Search Engine letter remain the same: consumers ordinarily expect that natural search results are included and ranked based on relevance to a search query, not based on payment from a third party," said the FTC letter, signed by Mary K. Engle, associate director for Advertising Practices.

"Including or ranking a search result in whole or in part based on payment is a form of advertising. To avoid the potential for deception, consumers should be able to easily distinguish a natural search result from advertising that a search engine delivers."

The Evolution of Online Advertising

Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, said he's not surprised by the letter, given the evolution in the online advertising landscape.

"Over the past decade the industry has changed and so have the ways in which search results are presented. The mobile Internet didn't exist then, for example," Sterling told us. "In many instances there has been a blurring of the distinctions between ads and non-ads in search -- vertical and general -- results in the intervening period."

As Sterling sees it, the FTC is trying to remind the industry that this division needs to be clearly maintained so as not to deceive or mislead consumers. The agency has enforcement power to penalize offenders, he said, and this letter is a warning to them to do more to clarify where advertising appears in their content.

"But this 'problem' extends beyond search on the Internet," Sterling added. "The whole phenomenon of 'native advertising' is a prime example of content and advertising blurring in many cases to the point of being indistinguishable."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Get Powerful App Acceleration with Cisco. In a world where time is money, you need to accelerate the speed at which data moves through your data center. Cisco UCS Invicta delivers powerful, easy-to-manage application acceleration for data-intensive workloads. So you can make decisions faster and outpace the competition. Learn More.


 World Wide Web
1.   Facebook Outage Puts Users in Tizzy
2.   Twitter Buys Password Manager Mitro
3.   Gov't User Data Requests Skyrocket
4.   Internet.org App to Debut in Zambia
5.   HealthCare.gov's Rollout Probed


advertisement
OkCupid Experiments with Daters
Unethical without user consent?
Average Rating:
Radical.FM's Freemium Biz Model
Online radio startup asks for donations.
Average Rating:
Twitter Buys Password Manager Mitro
Startup to release code as open source.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Ruling Against Microsoft Raises E-Mail Privacy Concern
Microsoft has been ordered to hand over e-mails to law enforcers in the United States as part of a criminal investigation, even though the e-mail is stored at a data center in Dublin,Ireland.
 
Twitter Buys Password Manager Startup Mitro
Following on the heels of another acquisition earlier this week, Twitter is adding to its fold a password-manager security startup called Mitro, which in turn is releasing its code as open source.
 
Government Requests for Customer Data Skyrocket
Requests for customer data from the government jumped 50 percent in the first half of 2014, according to Twitter, which received more than 2,000 requests for user info from gov't agencies.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.