Health Spa Advertising and Disclosures
Health spas that advertise to Georgia consumers are required to make qualifying disclosures in all ads regardless of the medium in which the advertisement is communicated. Under the FTC’s guidelines, such disclosures must be legible and understandable. Disclosures that are required to prevent an ad from being misleading to consumers must be clear and conspicuous. This means that items appearing in print should be a font size or shade that makes them reasonably readable and reasonably unavoidable by the consumer, and should be located in close proximity to the representations to which they correspond and/or qualify. To make a disclosure clear and conspicuous, advertisers should place disclosures near, and when possible, on the same page as the triggering claim. Disclaimers that are given audibly in television or radio ads should be played at the same decibel level as the main body of the broadcast, and at the same pace as the spoken velocity of the main body of the broadcast.
Online ads should follow the same guidelines for print and broadcast ads, and if the reader must scroll down to be able to see the disclaimer, the ad should use text or visual cues to direct consumers to the location of the required disclosure. Disclosures should be prominently displayed and must use clear language and syntax which are easily understood by consumers. In sum, disclosures must be transparent and obvious.
While there is no set formula for a clear and conspicuous disclosure, advertisers must ensure that each ad is qualified by effective disclosures. To evaluate whether a particular disclosure is clear and conspicuous, each advertiser should consider:
- Prominence: whether the qualifying information is prominent enough for consumers to notice it and read it.
- Presentation: whether the qualifying information is presented in easy-to-understand language that does not contradict other things said in the ad and is presented at a time when the consumer’s attention is not distracted elsewhere.
- Placement: whether the qualifying information is located in a place and conveyed in a format that consumers will read (or hear).
- Proximity: whether the qualifying information is located in close proximity to the claim being qualified.