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US Agency: Search Engines Must Clearly Label Ads

The US Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning to search engines that they need to clearly mark all results that are advertisements. The FTC issued letters 24 June 2013 to firms including AOL, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Google, and Yahoo—plus companies offering specialized search in areas such as local businesses, travel, and shopping—stating that they need to clearly distinguish between paid advertising and routine search results. The agency said paid search results have become increasingly less distinguishable as advertising. Search engine companies, particularly Google, have recently faced similar complaints from European government agencies. The FTC can levy fines for noncompliance with regulations regarding deceptive advertisements. (Reuters @ The San Jose Mercury-News)(CNET)(United States Federal Trade Commission)

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