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Unformatted text preview: matically review its rules and guides to evaluate their continued need and to make any
necessary changes. As needed, the Commission has and will continue to amend or clarify the scope of any
particular rule or guide in more detail during its regularly scheduled review. For example, the Energy Labeling
Rule was updated to clarify that “catalog” includes “material disseminated over the Internet” and to allow certain
disclosures to be made available using the Internet. See 72 Fed. Reg. 49,948, 49,957, 49,961 (Aug. 29, 2007).
The first Dot Com Disclosures guidance document contained a section discussing how certain FTC rules
and guides apply to online activities. Since that time, the Commission has addressed many of these issues
in rulemakings or its periodic rule and guide reviews, and the information is widely understood given the
ubiquitous nature and use of online technology. Nevertheless, the principles articulated in the original Dot
Com Disclosures remain the same. For the most part, rules and guides that use terms such as “written,”
“writing,” and “printed” apply online, and email may be used to comply with certain requirements to provide
or send required notices or documents to consumers as long as consumers understand or expect to receive
such information by email. For example, warranties communicated through visual text online are no different
than paper versions and the same rules apply. The requirement to make warranties available at the point
of purchase can be accomplished easily online by, for example, using a clearly-labeled hyperlink, in close
proximity to the description of the warrantied product, such as “get warranty information here” to lead to the
full text of the warranty, and presenting the warranty in a way that it can be preserved either by downloading
or printing so consumers can refer to it after purchase. Disclosure of Written Consumer Product Warranty
Terms and Conditions, 16 C.F.R. § 701.3 and Pre-Sale Availability of Written Warranty Terms, 16 C.F.R.
§ 702.3. Another example involves the Telemarketing Sales Rule. Advertisers who send email and text
messages that invite consumers to telephone...
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- Spring '14