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The FTC and Native Advertising Don't Count Chickens Until They HatchRemember the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) native advertising forum in late 2013?

At that time, based on conversations and some pretty pointed direct quotes from FTC staffers, the speculation was that the FTC would not only hold additional forums, but also consider issuing guidance on native advertising.

Well, here’s just another incarnation of the age-old admonition: “Don’t count your chickens until they hatch.”

A well-placed source tells NativeMobile that, as a matter of fact, native advertising likely will NOT be a major issue for the FTC for the remainder of the year. In other words, the threat was saber rattling — and it looks like it will subside for the time being.

In January, NativeMobile quoted FTC honchos who made it clear that native ads wouldn’t escape its scrutiny in 2014.

At that time, we quoted Jessica Rich, Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer protection bureau, who told AdWeek that native ads were on her radar.

“Native advertising will be a huge and continuing theme in our work,” Rich said. “I want to make a broader push into mobile, mobile security, mobile payments, making sure we are able to bring mobile investigations, just as we are able to bring brick-and-mortar investigations.”

Back in December, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission hosted a one-day workshop to examine the blending of advertisements with news, entertainment, and other editorial content in digital media, referred to as “native advertising” or “sponsored content.” The workshop brought together publishing and advertising industry representatives, consumer advocates, academics, and self-regulatory groups to explore the ways in which sponsored content is presented to consumers online and in mobile apps; consumers’ recognition and understanding of it; the contexts in which it should be identifiable as advertising; and effective ways of differentiating it from editorial content.

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