Ads that companies inconspicuously integrate into Twitter, news websites, and other digital platforms are getting new scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission.
The U.S. government's consumer watchdog announced Monday that it will hold a December 4 workshop in Washington, D.C., on "sponsored content"—also known as "native advertising"—to focus on the blurred lines between advertising and other content in digital media. The FTC is looking for members of the advertising and publishing industries, government regulators, consumer advocates, and academics to speak at the event. The agency also is accepting comments from interested parties ahead of the workshop.
The FTC, which has the power to file civil charges against businesses the mislead consumers, in March put out new guidelines on how digital advertisers can make ads that avoid deception. Its suggestions included putting the words "ad" or "sponsored" before tweets and other short messages from advertisers.