Dot Com 2.0 (Does anybody say 2.0 anymore?)
Where were you in 2000? Tooling around on your scooter listening to CDs by Destiny’s Child, ‘N Sync, and Creed? Joining the 50 million Americans who watched the latest TV sensation “Survivor”? Grateful the Y2K bug didn’t send us back to the Stone Age? Reading Dot Com Disclosures: Information About Online Advertising, the FTC’s first guidance document on how federal advertising laws apply to advertising and sales on the Internet?
A lot has happened since then, so it’s no surprise that the FTC is asking for your input about how Dot Com Disclosures should be modified to reflect those changes. To focus the process, FTC staff has asked 11 specific questions (Yes, 11 — “Top 10" lists are soooo 2000):
1. What issues have been raised by online technologies or Internet activities or features that have emerged since the business guide was issued (e.g., mobile marketing, including screen size) that should be addressed in a revised guidance document?
2. What issues raised by new technologies or Internet activities or features on the horizon should be addressed in a revised business guide?
3. What issues raised by new laws or regulations should be addressed in a revised guidance document?
4. What research or other information regarding the online marketplace, online advertising techniques, or consumer online behavior should the staff consider in revising Dot Com Disclosures?
5. What research or other information regarding the effectiveness of disclosures — and, in particular, online disclosures — should the staff consider in revising Dot Com Disclosures?
6. What specific types of online disclosures, if any, raise unique issues that should be considered separately from general disclosure requirements?
7. What guidance in the original Dot Com Disclosures document is outdated or unnecessary?
8. What guidance in Dot Com Disclosures should be clarified, expanded, strengthened, or limited?
9. What issues relating to disclosures have arisen from such multi-party selling arrangements in Internet commerce as: (1) established online sellers providing a platform for other firms to market and sell their products online, (2) website operators being compensated for referring consumers to other Internet sites that offer products and services, and (3) other affiliate marketing arrangements?
10. What additional issues or principles relating to online advertising should be addressed in the business guidance document?
11. What other changes, if any, should be made to Dot Com Disclosures?
The deadline for comments is July 11, 2011. File yours online — another change since 2000.