News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
GET RECOGNIZED
Let an ISACA® certification elevate your career.
Register today and save
You are here: Home / Sales & Marketing / FTC Warns About Search Ad Practices
Next Generation Data Center Is Here!
FTC Cracks Down on Search Engine Advertising Practices
FTC Cracks Down on Search Engine Advertising Practices
By Jennifer LeClaire / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
JUNE
26
2013



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:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY BE OF INTEREST
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there's a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know by accessing the white paper, "5 Things You Didn't Know About Cloud Backup". Access the White Paper now.
MORE IN SALES & MARKETING
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Dairy Queen Latest Retailer To Report Hack
Dairy Queen is known for its hot fries and sweet treats, but it just made cyber history as the latest victim of a hack attack. The fast food chain said that customer data at some stores may be at risk.
 
Lessons from the JPMorgan Chase Cyberattack
JPMorgan Chase is investigating a likely cyberattack. The banking giant is cooperating with law enforcement, including the FBI, to understand what data hackers may have obtained.
 
Who Is the Hacker Group Lizard Squad?
Are they dangerous or just obnoxious? That’s what many are wondering about the hacker group Lizard Squad, which tweeted out a bomb threat that grounded a flight with a Sony exec aboard.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Intel Intros Lightning-Fast PC Processors
Call it extreme. Intel just took the covers off its first-ever eight-core desktop processor, which is aimed at hardcore power users who expect more than the status quo from their computers.
 
HP Previews ProLiant Gen9 Data Center Servers
Because traditional data center and server architectures are “constraints” on businesses, HP is releasing new servers aimed at faster, simpler and more cost-effective delivery of computing services.
 
Apple Set To Release Largest iPad Ever
Tech giant Apple seems to have adopted the mantra “go big or go home.” The company is planning to introduce its largest iPad ever: a 12.9-inch behemoth that will dwarf its largest existing models.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Samsung Maps Its Way with Nokia's 'Here' App for Galaxy Phones
Korean electronics giant Samsung has opted to license Here, Nokia’s mapping app -- formerly known as Nokia Maps -- for its Tizen-powered smart devices and Samsung Gear S wearable.
 
Google Successfully Tests Its Own Delivery Drone
While top technology companies are engaged in an "arms race" to develop drones that can quickly deliver goods to anyone anywhere, Google has revealed it successfully tested its own version.
 
Will iPhone Finally Catch Up with NFC Mobile Payment Ability?
Apple's latest version of the iPhone may have a mobile wallet to pay for purchases with a tap of the phone. The iPhone 6 reportedly is equipped with near-field communication (NFC) technology.
 

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.