Thirty-seven percent of publishers fail to properly label their sponsored content to comply with the FTC enforcement policy issued in December 2015, according to MediaRadar. The ad sales intelligence firm scanned sponsored content ads from 12,000 brands over the course of 2016.
The numbers may look bad, but they actually represent progress. When the FTC released the native ad guidance at the end of 2015, MediaRadar found that 71% of publishers didn’t comply. Over the past year, the majority have taken steps to fall in line with the consumer watchdog agency’s guidelines. As for the rest?
“There is a group of people unaware that the law exists, or that doesn’t care,” said MediaRadar CEO Todd Krizelman. He noted that the comScore 100 and large sponsored content publishers like Forbes, Quartz and The New York Times all comply with the FTC guidance. Smaller publishers tend to be more lax about compliance.
“The brands should know better,” Krizelman said. “We don’t see errors with big firms like P&G or Unilever, but we do see large national brands that are buying ads that aren’t properly noted.”