The FTC wants to stop what it calls fake news websites from endorsing weight-loss products.
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Advertisements that look like news reports are nothing new. You may have local commercials running in your city right now that feature a person acting as a news anchor reading breaking news that prices on quality tires have reached historic new lows, or something similar.
The questions that should be answered by someone -- the FTC, the courts or the Federal Communications Commission -- is whether these types of ads have become so slick that they must be stopped. Others would say that in all advertising, it's a case of buyer beware so there's nothing wrong with using techniques to similate a news endorsement.
The practice is popular because wrapping a product with something that looks like a news endorsement builds credibility. But most media experts know the dangers of blending news with sales.
The problem is, the audience doesn't know that same danger. People see a logo that looks like it's from a TV station or newspaper, a person who looks like a reporter or someone sitting behind what appears to be an anchor desk and forget that what they're looking at is a sales pitch.
Do you think that the government should set standards so that advertisements don't appear to be news endorsements?