On September 15th, the FTC will hold a workshop to examine the testing and evaluation of disclosures that companies make to consumers about advertising claims, privacy practices, and other information. The FTC’s workshop will explore how to test the effectiveness of these disclosures to ensure consumers notice them, understand them, and can use them in their decision-making. Companies should incorporate the principles articulated during the workshop by federal regulators such as the FTC and the CFPB into the development of their own consumer disclosures, especially relating to e-commerce and mobile initiatives.
The “Putting Disclosures to the Test” workshop will explore ways to improve the evaluation and testing of consumer disclosures by industry, academics, and the FTC related to:
- Disclosures in advertising designed to prevent ads from being deceptive;
- Privacy-related disclosures, including privacy policies and other mechanisms to inform consumers that they are being tracked; and
- Disclosures in specific industries designed to prevent deceptive claims.
Among the participants at the workshop will be Heidi Johnson, a research analyst from the CFPB Office of Research, who will present a case study entitled, “Disclosure Research in the Lab and Online.” The CFPB’s Decision Making and Behavioral Studies team is engaged in a strategic initiative to invest in research that explores the factors that influence a disclosure’s efficacy, how to use different methodologies to study disclosure, and the market effects of disclosure. Ms. Johnson’s work as a part of this team has included consumer research on overdraft and other financial products.