0:00-1:26 This Ad Watchers episode provides insight into “Dark Patterns.” Coined by Harry Brignull in 2010, the term “dark patterns” is used to describe design practices that trick or manipulate users into making choices they would not otherwise have made, and that may cause harm. Eric Unis, Senior Attorney at the National Advertising Division (NAD), and his colleague Annie Ugurlayan, NAD’s Assistant Director, are joined by guest Deputy Director Katherine Armstrong. Katherine is a deputy director of the National Advertising Division (NAD) at BBB National Programs. She manages NAD attorneys and the overall case management and handling of monitoring and competitor-challenged truth-in-advertising cases, supporting long-term operations planning for the 50-year-old program.
Think about the times you felt tricked or frustrated by a membership or subscription that had a seamless signup process but was later difficult to cancel. Something that should be simple and transparent can be complicated, intentionally or unintentionally, in ways that impair consumer choice. These are examples of dark patterns. Unfortunately, dark patterns are becoming increasingly common as companies look for ways to boost profits. While some may seem harmless, others can have serious consequences for users.
Where is the line between ethical, persuasive design and dark patterns? In this episode of Ad Watchers, hosts Eric and Annie are joined by guest Deputy Director of the National Advertising Division, Katherine Armstrong to answer that question. Together, these three explore dark patterns and the FTC’s recent report on the topic, provide some real examples from NAD cases, and deliver commentary on the FTC’s response to the proliferation of these dark patterns. Listen now to understand the most common dark pattern tactics and how you can avoid them while still producing compelling, persuasive advertising.
For more information about this episode, read the show notes here.
In the final episode of season one of Ad Watchers, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs podcast series, hosts Hal and La Toya discuss health claims. These are any claims related to human health or wellness. These claims have a unique position in advertising claims substantiation because they require competent and reliable scientific evidence, also known in the industry as “CARSE.”
During the second episode of the Ad Watchers series, hosts Hal Hodes and La Toya Sutton engage their listeners in an insightful conversation about the importance of advertisers having a “‘reasonable basis” for their claims. They dive deeper into this topic by defining “reasonable” and what this calls for regarding the level of support and type of evidence needed to substantiate a claim.
For purposes of this episode, Hal and La Toya explained that the standard for defining “reasonable” is the Pfizer Factors.
COVID-19 has left millions of Americans unemployed and seeking new solutions to help them navigate the tough road ahead. Some have turned to the direct selling industry, chasing claims of financial freedom. Peter Marinello, Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) Vice President, and Howard J. Smith, one of the DSSRC’s attorneys, help us explore the unique world of direct selling and fill us in on the COVID-related claims that have kept them busier than usual over the last several months.