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Obligations of Publishers and Agencies

Advertising agencies (and more recently, website designers) are responsible for reviewing the information used to substantiate ad claims. These agencies may not simply rely on an advertiser’s assurance that the claims are substantiated. In determining whether an ad agency should be held liable, the FTC looks at the extent of the agency’s participation in the preparation of the challenged ad, and whether the agency knew or should have known that the ad included false or deceptive claims. Likewise, catalog and magazine publishers can be held responsible for material distributed. Publications may be required to provide documentation to back up assertions made in the advertisement. Repeating what the manufacturer claims about the product is not necessarily sufficient. The Division of Enforcement conducts a wide variety of law enforcement activities to protect consumers, including deceptive marketing practices. This division monitors compliance with Commission cease and desist orders and federal court injunctive orders, investigates violations of consumer protection laws, and enforces a number of trade laws, rules and guides.

Inside Obligations of Publishers and Agencies