FEC approves new Internet disclaimer rules: The new rule applies to paid advertising on websites, digital devices, applications and advertising platforms. Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky and Josefik
Approved by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on 1 December New rules that expand agency’s Internet disclaimer requirements, The rules will go into effect 30 days after they are finalized, likely in mid-January 2023. The FEC’s new rule—which it has been considering since 2011—provides specific disclaimer requirements for paid text and graphic, video and audio-only communications over the Internet.
Current FEC rules require a disclaimer on “communications placed for a fee on another person’s Web site” if the ad is paid for by a federal political committee, or if it includes explicit advocacy or Seeks federal contributions. The new rules expand that requirement beyond “another person’s web site” to include “any public communication on the Internet that is placed for a fee on another person’s website, digital device, application or advertising platform.” Is.” The terms “digital device, application, or advertising platform” are not defined in the new rules.
The new rules also specify that text and graphic communications must include a “clearly readable” written disclaimer, while video communications must display the disclaimer for at least four seconds, and audio-only communications must include audio-only disclaimers. A spoken disclaimer must be included within.
The FEC’s new rules also introduce “customized disclaimers,” which allow for a concise disclaimer where a “not more than 25 percent of a communication cannot be provided or will be captured due to character or space constraints.” A “customized disclaimer” must state who paid for the ad in full or by abbreviation and include a “pointer” that directs viewers to the full disclaimer that can be viewed through an alternate “mechanism” which can take the form of “hover”-over text, pop up screens, scrolling text, rotating panels, and hyperlinks to the landing page.
While most campaigns and PACs have long included standard “paid for” disclaimers on all Internet-based communications, and not just those that appear on websites, the new rules are specific to those attempting to comply with FEC requirements. provide guidance. However, the new rules also leave many questions unanswered that we anticipate the FEC will be forced to address in the years to come. Most significantly, as noted above, the terms “digital device, application, or advertising platform” are not defined. The FEC also removed language at the last minute that would have required a disclaimer on Internet-based communications “promoted for a fee”, choosing instead to create this language as a separate rule and request additional comments. . Ultimately, the commissioners were unable to resolve whether the “small objects” exception applies to the Internet, or whether all “small” Internet communications must now include the new “customized disclaimer.”
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