American Society of Magazine Editors

FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez Releases 2015 Annual Highlights

April 11, 2016

Given the Federal Trade Commission’s interest in areas pertinent to the magazine media industry such as privacy, data and advertising, MPA keeps a close eye on FTC activities in those areas.

FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez recently released her annual highlights for 2015. “2015 was another busy year for the FTC fighting fraud and deception, as well as promoting competition and consumer choice,” Chairwoman Ramirez said. “In our law enforcement and policy work, we placed special emphasis on sectors of the economy that have the biggest impact on consumers.”

The FTC took steps to go after deceptive endorsements online, including taking action against Machinima, an entertainment network, for paying a number of “influencers” to post reviews of their products without adequately disclosing that they were being paid for those reviews. In December, the FTC also released an Enforcement Policy Statement on native advertising, and MPA continues to closely monitor this issue as it develops.

In the area of privacy, the FTC has brought charges against a number of companies claiming that their efforts to collect personal information from children with advertisements in apps without parental consent was in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). In November 2015, the FTC hosted a workshop on cross-device tracking, with a focus on its impacts on and benefits for advertisers and marketers. They also issued a report on the Internet of Things, specifying ways in which people and businesses can protect their privacy and security in the face of ever-increasing cross-device connectivity. A link to the full 2015 Annual Highlights report can be found here.