The Ins and Outs of Online Ads (Jul 2000)

August, 2002


Until now, the rule for online advertisements and disclosures was that the same basic principles of fairness and honesty which apply to other media were equally applicable online. That policy lacked any detail and did not provide any substantive guidance to online merchants and advertisers. As a result of this gray area, unscrupulous advertisers exploited the ambiguity through online practices that ranged from misleading to outright fraud. The government has intervened in severe cases, but until recently, no affirmative policy existed.