The FTC’s Blurred Lines Report

by Bill McClellan on Jan 4, 2018 4:02:24 PM Government Relations


Sitting here in the Washington D.C. area during this year’s “bomb cyclone” blizzard, I am really looking forward to visiting the warmer climate of Miami, Florida for ERA’s 2018 Great Ideas Summit scheduled for February 26-28 at the Eden Rock Hotel.

If you haven’t already had a chance to sign up for the Great Ideas Summit, here is a link to the registration site. It's a rewarding feeling to work on those travel plans while hearing the cold winter winds blasting against the window.

Being stuck inside, I am also taking the opportunity to do a deeper dive into a report the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released last month on “native advertising” entitled, "Blurred Lines – An Exploration of Consumers’ Advertising Recognition in the Contexts of Search Engines and Native Advertising." It summarizes research conducted by the agency in 2014-2015 exploring how consumers perceive “native advertising” that resemble news, featured articles, product reviews, entertainment, or other non-advertising online content.

Yes, even blog posts like this one.

Study results conclude that various disclosure techniques like the ones in existing FTC staff guidance to search engines as its guidance to native advertisers can go a long way to reducing consumer confusion.

Not to blur the lines any further, I will let you explore the links above while I enjoy the read and this great cup of hot cocoa. Enjoy!

 About the Author


Bill McClellan serves as ERA's Vice President of Government Affairs. Prior to joining the association, Bill worked as a lobbyist at the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association, covering the state legislature and Georgia's congressional delegation. Before working for the GADA, Bill managed political campaigns at both the congressional and state constitutional levels.

Bill McClellan's blog
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