Generally speaking, section five of the FTC Act sets forth the basic principles of advertising law applicable to native:
Advertising must be truthful and not misleading.
Advertiser must substantiate any express or implied claims.
Advertising cannot be unfair or deceptive.
Any disclosures necessary to make an ad accurate must be clear and conspicuous.
In addition to these broad principles, the FTC has recently clarified these tenets as applied to the on-line world. For instance, the FTC’s recent “Dot Com Disclosures: Information about Online Advertising” offers guidance on issues clearly relevant to many aspects of a typical native advertising campaign. As summarized in the “Dot Com Guidelines” which we recommend every digital marketer read, one key principle is that online advertising needs to be disclosed as such. Moreover, the “Dot Com Guidelines” make plain that online advertisers need to ensure that any disclosures fit into the context in which the advertising appears and are placed in close proximity to the ad. All these points apply squarely to native advertising.