While the FDA struggles to figure out how the Internet works , the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) forges onward.
With the advent of the Internet, the FDA said – well, nothing.
But another agency, the FTC, has been quite active in assessing, analyzing and interpreting the Internet and consumer use of it to develop new guidelines for quite some time now.
For example, in 2000 they said a LOT. In fact, while the FDA was trying to figure out how a mouse worked, the FTC issued a paper on dot.com advertising. In fact, it is within the context of that paper that one might see a sort of blessing for a "one-click" rule to get important disclosure information in the context of an online advertisement.
Now, however, the FTC has recently come out with new rules about endorsements that are game-changing in nature. For one thing, bloggers are now required to indicate the existence of any financial relationship when they are writing about a product. But the situation is more complex than this aspect and undoubtedly many more questions will flow as advertisers, manufacturers and bloggers all come to understand the new environment, and how they impact health care in particular.
Addressing the blogger situation – here is a video from FTC to outline the topic that particularly focuses on the issues that relate to bloggers:
The Federal Register Notice about these endorsement rules was published December 1 and is quite lengthy (81 pages) , but it provides an abundance of information, including going through examples of situations that might or might not trigger a violation.