In the US, advertising is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and a number of non-governmental organizations. The FTC is engaged in the protection of consumers’ rights which can be easily violated by the dishonest marketing activity. The agency establishes standards for the advertising content and acts on behalf of consumers. In general, federal law says that advertising placed in the mass media shall be truthful and desirably backed by the scientific evidence of the statement. The agency closely monitors advertising of food, over-the-counter drugs, alcohol, and tobacco as these products directly affect the health of the citizens. If FTC finds any fraud, they can stop scams, punish fraudsters, and compensate losses for the victims referring to federal district courts.
The FTC protects consumers in several dimensions. Advertising aimed at children shall correspond to truth-in-advertising standards defined by the agency. Regulations include television food advertising and online marketing activities to improve children’s diets and combat childhood obesity. The truth-in-advertising standards also apply to the content posted online. Telemarketing shall comply with the National Do Not Call Registry Act in order not to abuse consumers with excessive calls.
Advertising of health-related products shall be supported with solid proof on the validity of information included in them. Companies which make environmental claims in their advertising shall provide a competent scientific evidence to support their statements. The FTC also developed Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims which requires some companies to label their products as “Made in the USA”. These are the main examples of how consumers are protected from fraud in advertising on the federal level. Non-governmental organizations like Better Business Bureau are also considered to be effective in improving standards of advertising and foster truth and accuracy in advertising across the US.