FEC Approves Final Rules on Digital Ad Disclaimers and Announces Notices of Proposed Rulemaking on Additional Disclaimer Rules

December 5, 2022

 

FEC Approves Final Rules on Digital Ad Disclaimers and Announces Notices of Proposed Rulemaking on Additional Disclaimer Rules

 

The FEC approved a Final Rule on December 1 revising the disclaimer requirements for public communications placed on the internet for a fee. The amendments revise the definition of “public communication” to clarify how it applies to the internet. The amendments also outline what disclaimers are now required based on the type of internet ad. The Final Rule still must be approved by Congress before it is given an effective date.

The current definition of “public communication” includes only internet ads “placed for a fee on another person’s website.” The new definition includes “communications placed for a fee on another person’s website, digital device, application, or advertising platform.” However, the Commission does not define “digital device,” “application,” or “advertising platform.”

The amendments also outline the required disclaimers based on the type of communication:
  • For text or graphics, a written disclaimer must be included that is clearly readable.
  • For videos, a written disclaimer must be visible for at least 4 seconds.
  • For audio, without video or graphics, the disclaimer must be included within the audio. 
If a full disclaimer cannot be included, the Commission outlines a new “adapted disclaimer” provision if the full disclaimer “would occupy more than 25% of a communication due to character or space constraints.” An “adapted disclaimer” must define that the communication is paid for and who paid for it.
The Commission is also requesting comment on additional proposed rulemaking on the definition of “public communication” or “internet public communication.” The notice has not been published to the Federal Register but when it is, AAPC will work with members to devise comments on the matter.
To read the full announcement on the FEC website, click here.
If you have questions or comments, please contact Robyn Matthews, Director of Advocacy and Industry Relations at R[email protected].

 

About AAPC
Founded in 1969, the AAPC is a multi-partisan organization of political and public affairs professionals dedicated to improving democracy. The AAPC has over 1,500 members hailing from all corners of the globe.  It is the largest association of political and public affairs professionals in the world. For more information, see www.theaapc.org.

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