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If Editorial Content Includes Affiliate Links, Is It An Ad?

Law360 (September 21, 2018, 1:14 PM EDT) -- In a significant new decision, the National Advertising Division has declined jurisdiction over content in Buzzfeed’s “Shopping Guide” because of its determination that it does not constitute “national advertising.” This decision provides important guidance to advertisers and publishers, particularly with respect to the increasingly important issue of distinguishing editorial content and advertising for purposes of regulatory and self-regulatory compliance.

As part of its routine monitoring, the NAD requested substantiation for statements about a skincare product contained in a BuzzFeed shopping guide. BuzzFeed’s shopping guides are lists of product recommendations from its editorial staff. The content includes purchasing links and some, though...

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