← Back

Advertising Law

Advertising Law – Marketing Degree Resources

Ad substantiation, deception, and unfairness are the three basic principles that make up United States advertising law. First of all, those in advertising and marketing should be familiar with the Federal Trade Commission’s 1984 Policy Statement on Advertising Substantiation. The Deception Policy Statement outlines the FTC’s definition of “deceptive acts or practices” that are prohibited. Lastly, the FTC’s Unfairness Policy Statement defines the FTC’s jurisdiction for prohibiting unfair acts and practices. Congress recently amended the FTC Act in 2006 .

Here are more useful links to enhance your legal knowledge within advertising.

Federal Trade Commission - The Federal Trade Commission’s homepage contains information for consumers and businesses alike, as well as information on the FTC through history.

Decisions Issued by the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. reviews national advertising for truth and accuracy in order to promote public confidence in advertising credibility.

FTC Advertising Guidelines and Enforcement Policy Statements – Database of advertising guidelines issued by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Guidelines cover a range of advertising statements, from the word “free” to dietary supplements and more.

FTC Trade Regulation Rules – Trade regulations and rules as listed on the FTC’s homepage. These cover a range of topics, including alternative vehicle fuels, funerals, and jewelry.

FTC Consumer Information – Wealth of information for consumers to educate themselves in order to avoid fraud and deception. Information covers credit, computers, automobiles, education, and more. The FTC also offers a bilingual guide called “Read Up! How to be an Informed Consumer” that covers finances, investments, consumer rights, avoiding scams, and information security.

FTC Business Compliance Documents – The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection Business Center offers over 300 Compliance documents, including letters to companies, policy statements, and other helpful documents related to compliance.

Testimony and Speeches – The FTC maintains an index of speeches given by officials, experts, and others. This index includes full speeches dating back to 1995.


Better Business Bureau – The Better Business Bureau aims to promote marketplace trust. Their web page has a wealth of useful information.

European Commission Advertising/Consumer Law – Website for the European Commission Consumer Policy Service, which is similar in function to the FTC. Their site provides information about European consumer and advertising law and policies.

Advertising Standards Authority – The UK’s independent regulator of advertising, ensuring ads are legal, decent, honest, and truthful.

The Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Review Council – The National Advertising Review Council (NARC) seeks to self-regulate the advertising industry to promote truth and accuracy in national advertising.

FTC Report on Food Marketing to Children and Adolescents – Article on the advertising industry’s marketing of food to children and adolescents.

FTC Guidelines on Internet Advertising – Article regarding how existing consumer protection laws apply to online advertising.

Consumer Advertising Law Blog – Blog maintained by Arnold & Porter LLP.

Federal Advertising Law: An Overview -  Report for Congress regarding advertising law.

Advertising Regulation -  Wikipedia entry for Advertising regulation.

Advertising Law for Small Businesses -  Advertising Law information at the US Small Business Administration webpage.

Regulation of Advertising -  Informational page at Mediaknowall.

Laymen’s Corner: Understanding Ad Law -  Explanation of Advertising Law for the layman.

Advertising Age -  News site for advertising matters, including advertising law.

Nine Things You Can’t Do in Advertising -  Article at AdAge outlining practices that are illegal according to advertising law and regulations.

Advertising FAQ’s: A Guide for Small Business -  Informational guide at the Bureau of Consumer Protection Business Center.

American Advertising Federation (AAF) -  The AAF promotes industry self-regulation as a preemptor to government intervention, and holds an annual conference.

Guidelines, Standards, and Best Practices -  Informational page at the Interactive Advertising Bureau, aimed at staying compliant with government regulations.

Advocacy & Policy -  Policy page for the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), a national trade organization representing the advertising agency business in the US.

AdLaw By Request -  Blog of advertising and marketing legal issues, maintained by Reed Smith’s Advertising, Technology and Media practice.

10 Things Every Internet Marketer Should Know -  Article about legal compliance in internet marketing, by Aaron Kelly at Kelly Law Firm.

Communication Law Articles -  List of articles related to Advertising Law at HG Legal Directories.

Law and Regulation Links at University of Texas at Austin -  The Texas Advertising & Public Relations department at University of Texas at Austin maintains a database of links related to advertising matters, including laws and regulation.

Green Advertising Law -  Informational page for rules and regulations related to the use of the word “green” in advertising.

FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials -  Article at FTC homepage regarding advertising through endorsements and testimonials.