Our colleagues have noticed something different. Have you lost weight, they’ve asked. Have you had some work done? Are you coloring your hair? Actually, we’ve redesigned our blog site. Along with giving it a new look we’ve added a feature called responsive design that we think is pretty cool. So now if you want to read our blog on your smart phone, your iPad, your laptop or your 90 inch LED HDTV the blog will “respond” (get it?) to your screen size and display appropriately. Check it out when you get a chance and tell your friends and colleagues to check it out as well (and subscribe). Responsive design may even help overcome some of the issues the FTC has raised (and that we’ve blogged about) relating to online disclosures.
And while we try to keep abreast of the latest technological developments, and we’re sure your marketing departments do as well, it’s important to keep in mind that the FTC is keeping current too. Consistent with its goal of trying to apply time-honored principles to new and changing technology and advertising techniques, the FTC has announced a workshop for December 4, on “native” advertising. For anyone who thinks this might be referring to advertising by indigenous peoples, “native advertising” refers to advertisements that are designed to closely resemble the online content in which they are embedded – for example, paid search engine results or “other content you might be interested in” ads. The FTC has provided guidance on its expectations to differentiate native from sponsored results on search engines as we recently blogged about here. The FTC’s concern – as it has always been, dating as far back as some early infomercials – is that consumers are able to clearly differentiate between paid advertisements and content. Submissions of research, topic recommendations and requests to participate as panelists are due by October 29, 2013.