Summary: When the FTC receives reports about rogue activity which it claims to be tackling it either ignores or sends out non-personalised responses saying it would take no action
Sometimes it seems like the institution known as the FTC is about saving face, not about regulation. Of course its purpose was real and sincere, but over the years we wrote a lot about the FTC’s incompetence. When I filed a complaint (to the FTC) about Microsoft AstroTurfing I received this response as a PDF (by E-mail). It reveals no action being taken even though the FTC publicly claims to crack down on AstroTurfing, which is why I submit letters almost every year. Here is the latest FTC PR:
Earlier this month the FTC updated its online advertising disclosure rules. They’re intended to protect the public from online promotions that may be “deceptive or unfair” in the absence of clear disclosures that they’re compensated advertising.
Advertising and promotional messaging on social and mobile media are at least partly responsible for the update of the guidelines, which is the first such update since they were originally issued in 2000.
The problem is, they don’t seem to enforce their policy. █