Oh…Is This An Ad?

Do you sometimes find it hard to tell ads from surrounding content when you’re online or using a mobile app? Have you ever wondered whether the article you selected is actually an ad? If your answer is yes, you may be interested in an upcoming FTC workshop.

On December 4, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission will hold a workshop to look at advertising that resembles the news, entertainment, or other content it’s embedded with. These ads may be called “native advertising” or “sponsored content,” and they’re increasingly found on digital media. The workshop will bring together representatives from publishing, advertising, and academia, as well as federal regulators and consumer advocates to talk about changes in the way ads are presented, and how readers notice and understand advertising messages. The workshop will be free and open to the public; you can send ideas for discussion topics until October 29.

The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, has a long history of making sure that advertising pitches are identified for what they really are. We’ve taken enforcement actions against infomercial producers and operators who ran fake news websites that were a front for marketing products. We provide tips to help spot fake news sites, and be smart about testimonials from “satisfied customers” who may be paid shills. If you’ve had problems with a product or service that didn’t live up to its advertising, file a complaint at ftc.gov/complaint.

Tagged with: advertising, online
Blog Topic: Be Smart Online


I pinned something on a board not too long ago. I ended up having to change all my passwords and take the advertisement (which when I posted it, wasn't an advertisement) down. It was an headache for me and I am sure for anyone else that may have repinned the article. I was told from Pinterest that it was spam, months after I had posted. I believe that we need protection against that sort of thing. I don't pin much ever and to have that spamming everyone. I get email from myself that is spam (it's not really me) I have blocked myself because of it and had to change password on everything, email, banks, credit cards, and etc. I don't understand how this happens, that it looks like it's from me, but it is not. Help, how can we stop this stuff from happening, the kind of email that it sends with my email address supposedly would make your mother blush. Thanks

I couldn't imagine that ads is everywhere. It annoys me. Sometimes when I download a game app, and find out that there are too much other ads after i close the game. That's just horrible.

I never knew that thank u for this

Leave a Comment

Comment Policy

Read Our Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.