Advertising industries have been regulated for many years, and throughout the world, to protect the interests of consumers and relevant industry members. Various areas of online advertising have also been regulated, such as with the CAN-SPAM Act, offering protection against spam. In the US, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is responsible for online and offline advertising regulations. Their primary intent is to protect consumers from fraud.
The FTC also works with state and federal law enforcement agencies, to prosecute advertising fraud. While their primary focus has been consumer fraud, their policies are also evolving to implicate all partners involved in a fraudulent advertising campaign. That means if an advertiser is accused of making false claims to a consumer, publishers promoting that advertiser could also be implicated in any prosecution.
FTC Regulations, Guidelines and Resources
- FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Advertising and Marketing
- Advertising and Marketing on the Internet: Rules of the Road
- Advertising FAQ’s: A Guide for Small Businesses
Email Marketing (US)
- FTC’s – CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business
- CAN-SPAM Act (the full text)
- PMA Blogpost: Email Marketing Compliance Refresher
Email Marketing (Global)
Finding a reliable and up-to-date resource for international email marketing related laws and regulations is challenging. But, one of the most comprehensive sources is this Wikipedia page. As with any Wikipedia content, it’s best to look into the actual laws and regulations themselves, but this page provides links to a large number of individual country regulations.
General Marketing (US)
- FTC – Advertising and Marketing Regulations
- FTC – Business Guide to the FTC’s Mail, Internet, or Telphone Order Merchandise Rule
Digital Marketing (US)
Telemarketing and SMS (US)
Data Privacy (US)
As of early 2022, the federal government has not passed a comprehensive data privacy law. This leaves the states to enact their own laws and regulations. Below are some of the more prominent state-level data privacy laws to be aware of.
- An Overview of State Laws on Digital Privacy
- CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act)
- CPRA (California Consumer Rights Act – AKA CCPA 2.0)
- Overviews of CCPA and CCRA from the IAPP (International Association of Privacy Professionals)