FTC issues guidelines on mobile ads
140 characters, a company is not off the hook as far as full disclosure is concerned. Any company that is found to be in violation of FTC rules could face penalties. In its statement, the FTC gave a few examples of what would be considered a violation. As an example, the FTC pointed to a make-believe diet product being promoted on Twitter by a made-up celebrity. A tweet from @JuliStarz that reads "Shooting movie beach scene. Had to lose 30lbs in 6 wks. Thanks Fat-away Pills for making it easy. [link]" would not be acceptable, the FTC said. Starz would have to make it clear that she is being paid to promote Fat-away and that a 30-pound weight loss in six weeks is not a typical result. According to the FTC, an acceptable tweet would be, "Ad:Shooting movie beach scene. Had to lose 30lbs in 6 wks. Thanks Fat-away Pills for making it easy. Typical loss: 1lb/wk."
The FTC showed other examples such as an ad on a smartphone for imitation pearl earrings that must clearly say "imitation". An ad for a home security system must include a prominent placing of monthly service fees rather than a link to fees on a separate page.