Ad groups warn against potential agency liability

A coalition of 30 advertising groups, including the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Interactive Advertising Bureau, has taken out a full-page ad in a Washington, D.C., paper warning about the potential negative effects of a proposed FTC reform bill.

The groups say a hidden provision in the bill will expand FTC power and restore rule-making and enforcement authority to the agency, Ad Age reports.

The bill in question is the "Restoring American Financial Stability Act," which has already been passed by the House of Representatives. The Senate is currently drafting its version of the bill, and the ad groups are leading an effort to have the FTC provision stripped from the bill.

The bill features three initiatives that would increase the FTC's power. These include expedited rule-making, the ability to issue fines for false and deceptive advertising, and an "aiding and abetting" rule that would fine those who assist in making false advertising.

The third initiative is drawing the most ire because, as constituted, it would mean that both ad agencies and media outlets could be fined for creating and distributing false advertising.



Alan Bleiweiss
Alan Bleiweiss April 25, 2010 at 7:19 PM

And exactly what is to fear of the notion that those who perpetrate false advertising should be held accountable for their actions?

The reality is that false advertising leads unsuspecting consumers to expend money - and should such advertising reach millions of people, the amount of that money could be staggering in its size. While leaving those consumers to be ripped off.

This "we can self regulate" nonsense is at the heart of the issue because, as much as there may be a good portion of business owners and marketers who are ethical, there are always going to be those who are not, and without proper structure to ensure they are limited in their reach, Americans suffer.

Anyone who opposes such legislation is arrogant and promotes unethical behavior.