FTC Warns Search Engines to Make Advertisements Clear

Whines about decreasing compliance with their regulations


Search engines need to be careful to make it clear what results are actually ads, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission warned Tuesday.

In letters to Google, Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft's Bing, and several other search engines, the FTC updated its guidance from 2002 about the need to distinguish between advertisements and search results. Since that original letter in 2002, the FTC has seen a decline in compliance with its guidelines.

"The letters note that in recent years, paid search results have become less distinguishable as advertising, and the FTC is urging the search industry to make sure the distinction is clear," the group said.