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Federal Trade Commission

January 10th, 2012

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which was created in 1914, is a federal agency that is tasked with promoting consumer protection.  One of the central ways it does this is by regulating the advertising industry.


The First Amendment and Commercial Speech

October 1st, 2011

The words “First Amendment” have become synonymous with “free speech.” But that doesn’t mean the First Amendment gives you the right to say anything, anywhere to anyone.  Commercial speech – speech motivated by profit (e.g., advertisements) – enjoys even more limited freedom than you do. There are three situations where the government can restrict commercial


Who Can You Complain to at the Federal Level?

October 1st, 2011

Spot an ad that you think has issues?  Want to complain to a federal agency?  Here’s a topic-by-topic list of federal agencies that deal with deceptive advertising. (Note that sometimes more than one agency deals with a certain type of advertisement or label, which can get confusing.  When in doubt, it’s safest to complain to


Federal Laws Governing Ads

October 1st, 2011

There are many federal laws that regulate advertisements in some way or another.  We’ve listed some of the key provisions below, along with a snapshot of what each law says: *This page is informational only and does not take the place of legal advice.  If you have a question or concern, please consult with a



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