House Energy & Commerce Demoratic leaders have called on Federal Trade Commission Joseph Simons to take immediate action to stem a flood of "deceptive advertising and dangerous misinformation" related to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The letter, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee chair Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Consumer Protection Subcommittee chair Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).
The FTC has sent letters to a number of marketers warning them about bogus claims.
They pointed out that an Amazon executive has testified that the company has removed a million products making false claims, but that "millions more" will likely proliferate. They also said that while Google and Facebook have policies prohibiting ads that capitalize on COVID-19 misinformation, they continue to appear. "These companies have little ability to combat misinformation regularly disseminated over encrypted messenger services like WhatsApp, which boasts 2 billion users across 180 countries."
They did not have much faith in platforms regulating themselves. "E-commerce platforms have already proven themselves incapable of policing malicious activity before the COVID-19 outbreak, and we simply cannot rely on these companies to protect Americans during a public health emergency."
They acknowledged the letters and the FTC's guidance about fraudulent products, but said he must do more.
The smarter way to stay on top of the multichannel video marketplace. Sign up below.
Thank you for signing up to Multichannel News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.