The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released an enforcement policy yesterday that outlines which forms of native advertising it deems acceptable and which it deems deceptive. This new policy means many leading native ad platforms will need to modify their current widget labels and disclosures.
Adiant, owner of the Adblade native advertising platform and a long-time proponent of proper labeling, was pleased with the decision that that Native Ad Widgets should be labeled with the words “Ads” or “Advertisement” above each of the ad units. The decision supported Adblade’s long-held internal policy, which was clearly backed up by the FTC’s Enforcement Policy Statement on Deceptively Formatted Advertisements.
Adblade is the only major native content recommendation company to have proactively and consistently utilized the FTC approved widget labeling guidelines for the past several years. Other leading providers have only recently (and some would say reluctantly) began to change their disclosures, often using terms such as “Sponsored by” or “Promoted Stories”, which the FTC states are potentially confusing to consumers.
Adblade is proud to have once again proactively led the Native Advertising industry, which it helped pioneer in 2008, by consistently advocating for clear and prominent advertising disclosures on native widgets as well as advertiser landing pages. The guidelines make it clear that everyone who participates directly or indirectly in creating or presenting native ads is held accountable, including ad tech companies and publishers.
We look forward to seeing the rest of the native advertising industry change their widget labels to include words such as “Ad” or “Advertising” above their widgets as well.