PR Must Lead on New FTC Native Advertising, Sponsored Content Guidelines


Doug Simon, President & CEO of D S Simon Media, provides a road map for understanding the new FTC native advertising guidelines – and one that could spur PR industry growth.

So what does PR need to do to own Native Advertising?

  1. Recognize, there is an ongoing struggle between those who feel hiding the source of your message is good for business and those who feel taking ownership of content benefits them and their brand. Take ownership of content.
  2. Resist temptation to find loopholes in the guidelines that might put clients at risk.
  3. As with the FTC Spokesperson Guidelines for third-party spokespeople in video and media tours, recognize that disclosure is another opportunity for branding and a chance to offer value to the public.
  4. Don’t fear the guidelines. Only work with partners who understand them and agree to lead on compliance.
  5. Pressure publishers, ad networks and social media sites to integrate compliance into their formats to allow for creativity and disclosure without putting brands at risk.

The result will be better serving our client’s and the public, grabbing the lion’s share of digital marketing dollars and changing our reputation for the better. The FTC has made it clear they will be looking to make some brand an example. Don’t let it be you or your client.

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