If you are advertising anything, then you should already know this. The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, is a governmental agency whose mission is to prevent “anticompetitive, deceptive, and unfair business practices.” The FTC enforces some of the rules you may already be familiar with such as:
- Telemarketing Sales Rule – provides certain obligations and restrictions for companies making outbound marketing calls to consumers; a link to the rule can be found here .
- CAN-SPAM – requires that commercial marketers send emails in a manner that is fair and ethical; a link to the rule can be found here.
- COPPA – The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act which can be found here.
- ROSCA – The Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act, which governs subscription and auto-renewal purchases, can be found here.
The FTC also has authority to investigate, and take action against, practices that are unfair or deceptive. The FTC provides guidance and resources for business owners on its website, www.ftc.gov. The bottom line is that, when you’re advertising or marketing just be truthful and honest with your customers. You should make all terms and conditions of their purchase known to them before they make a purchase. You should also provide contact information and support after the purchase. This includes honoring any refund policy you may have offered.
For additional information on the FTC, checkout A Brief Overview of the Federal Trade Commission’s Investigative, Law Enforcement, and Rulemaking Authority.