ANA Congratulates New FTC Commissioners

April 27, 2018

Yesterday, the Senate confirmed the nominations of all five nominees to lead the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The Commission will now be chaired by Republican Joe Simons, an antitrust attorney who headed the FTC’s competition bureau during the George W. Bush administration. Joining him are Republicans Noah Phillips and Christine Wilson and Democrats Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Slaughter. These individuals will bring an important blend of business and public policy expertise, with many having previously served at the FTC, on Capitol Hill, and in the private sector. Their confirmations come at an extremely opportune time as today is current Commissioner Terrell McSweeney’s last day at the FTC. This would have left only Acting Chairwoman Maureen Ohlhausen remaining on the panel, with the Commission unable to take any significant actions since there would not have been enough commissioners to form a quorum. The FTC has not had a full slate of commissioners since Joshua Wright left the FTC in August 2015.

For the advertising community, the FTC has been and continues to be the main regulatory body governing our key issues. Beyond the traditional restrictions on false or deceptive advertising, the FTC is now the leader on important and timely issues such as online privacy and data security. With the investigation into the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal and the restoration of oversight for internet service providers (ISPs) due to the repeal of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality rules, the FTC will be at the forefront of determining any new rules and regulations that advertisers must follow in this rapidly developing space. We greatly look forward to working with the newly confirmed commissioners and are confident that they will act judiciously on these issues.

ANA would also like to thank both Acting Chair Ohlhausen and Commissioner McSweeney for their years of superb work at the FTC. We are grateful that both of these strong leaders spoke at prior ANA Advertising Law and Public Policy conferences and consistently expressed a willingness to work with ANA and the ad community to further a strong and appropriate privacy regulatory agenda. We also thank them for their support of the ad community’s self-regulation activities. In addition, ANA congratulates Acting Chair Ohlhausen as she is now nominated for a judgeship on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. As the changeover in FTC leadership occurs, ANA is committed to working with all of the new commissioners on key advertising issues and maintaining strong FTC support for our self-regulatory efforts so that meaningful protections can be provided for consumers.

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