TRUMP YANKS DR. MURTHY, SURGEON GENERAL
The Federal Trade Commission’s STATUTORY AUTHORITY
The Commission’s basic authority to regulate advertising and marketing practices derives from Section 5 of the FTC Act, which broadly prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices in commerce. The Commission “will find deception if there is a representation, omission or practice that is likely to mislead the consumer acting reasonably in the circumstances, to the consumer’s detriment.” The elements to this analysis are:
(1) the representation, omission, or practice must be likely to mislead the consumer
(2) the act or practice must be considered from the perspective of the reasonable consumer
(3) the representation, omission, or practice must be material, that is, likely to affect a consumer’s choice or conduct, thereby leading to injury
(4) When a representation or sales practice is targeted to a specific audience, such as children, the Commission will determine the effect on a reasonable member of that group.
(5) Thus, advertisements directed to children are considered from the standpoint of an ordinary child.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
“…in connection with consumer-directed broadcast advertisements for prescription drug and biological products. The approach presumes that such advertisements:
Are not false or misleading in any respect
Present a fair balance between information about effectiveness and information about risk
Include a thorough major statement conveying all of the product’s most important risk information in consumer-friendly language
Communicate all information relevant to the product’s indication (including limitations to use) in consumer-friendly language.
Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU)
CARU’s Self-Regulatory Guidelines are deliberately subjective, going beyond the issues of truthfulness and accuracy to take into account the uniquely impressionable and vulnerable child audience.
The Guidelines are based upon the following core principles:
Advertisers have special responsibilities when advertising to children or collecting data from children online. They should take into account the limited knowledge, experience, sophistication and maturity of the audience to which the message is directed. They should recognize that younger children have a limited capacity to evaluate the credibility of information, may not understand the persuasive intent of advertising, and may not even understand that they are being subject to advertising.
Advertising should be neither deceptive nor unfair, as these terms are applied under the Federal Trade Commission Act, to the children to whom it is directed.
Advertisers should have adequate substantiation for objective advertising claims, as those claims are reasonably interpreted by the children to whom they are directed.
Advertising should not stimulate children’s unreasonable expectations about product quality or performance.
Products and content inappropriate for children should not be advertised directly to them. Advertisers should avoid social stereotyping.