Federal Trade Commission and Hidden Disclosures

By February 28, 2007Internet Lawyer

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras was recently interviewed about cybercrime and other Internet legal issues. The full interview is worth reading.

However, what struck me was her comments on what is a common practice…attempting to hide disclosures.

One of the things that has always been the case, though, is that buried disclosures have never worked and have never been adequate. So if you are burying an important disclosure that’s going to make a difference to a consumer, then there’s a real question about whether that’s a true disclosure.”

What many businesses don’t recognize is that emphasizing an unfavorable disclosure can be beneficial.

Here’s why.

The prospect who actually reads disclosures (most don’t) will be favorably impressed with candor. If you’re burying the truth about one aspect of your product or service, people will wonder what else you’re hiding and assume the worst. This is also the type of behavior that the Federal Trade Commission doesn’t like.

Hat tip to PCWorld.com

Update: The Federal Trade Commission issued new guidelines about disclosures that went into effect December 1, 2009. Click the following link to get my free special report (PDF file) on how to comply with the new Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994 and is an angel investor in startups. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

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