- The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has given the new Federal Trade Commission guidelines on native advertising a mixed review. On one hand it offered praise, but the IAB also had concerns about some elements of the FTC's guidance.
- IAB VP of Public Policy Brad Weltman specifically addressed in a statement the FTC Guidance section on “clarity of meaning” in native ads as being “overly prescriptive” and also expressed concerns that the FTC may take the step to enforce guidelines without taking the time for an industry-wide consensus.
- The IAB intends to seek more clarification, particularly on the guidelines that might affect commercial speech protections and longstanding advertising conventions that apply to other media.
"We very much appreciate the hard work the Commission has done to understand the issue of native advertising, and applaud the Commission for putting native advertising guidance into the marketplace. While guidance serves great benefit to industry, it must also be technically feasible, creatively relevant, and not stifle innovation," Weltman said in the same statement.
"To that end, we have reservations about some elements of the Commission’s Guidance. In particular, the section on ‘clarity of meaning’ in native advertising disclosures is overly prescriptive, especially absent any compelling evidence to justify some terms over others," he added.
Weltman and the IAB concluded their statement saying they took the FTC's guidelines on native ads to mean enforcement of those rules would soon follow. The IAB added it hoped going forward all parties could work together "to inform, entertain, and edify consumers, not fool them."
The IAB has been active in monitoring native advertising through its Native Advertising Task Force and its Native Advertising Playbook released in 2013 to provide a framework for understanding native ad options. The group has also been working with the FTC for two years on the topic.