FTC Rejects Request to Disclose Product Placements

Feb 10, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday rejected a request by watchdog organization Commercial Alert to require advertisers to prominently disclose every time a product placement appears on a television program.

Commercial Alert had asked for a requirement that product placements be identified every time they appear on-screen with the superimposed word “ADVERTISEMENT.”

“As Commercial Alert has noted, there may be instances in which the line between advertising and programming may be blurred, and consumers would be deceived absent a disclosure clarifying that the communication is an advertisement,” the FTC said in a Feb. 10 letter to the group. “However, we believe that the existing statutory and regulatory framework provides sufficient tools for challenging any such deceptive acts or practices.”

In a statement, Dan Jaffee, executive VP of the Association of National Advertisers, said Commercial Alert’s disclosure proposals “were radical and misguided, and are not necessary to protect television viewers.”