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Consumer's Union WebWatch Guildelines

A guide for webmasters

Consumers' Union WebWatch Guidelines call for the following disclosures:
  1. Identity:

    Web sites should clearly disclose the physical location where they are produced, including an address, a telephone number or e-mail address.

    Sites should clearly disclose their ownership, private or public, naming their parent company.

    Sites should clearly disclose their purpose and mission.

  2. Advertising and Sponsorships:

    Sites should clearly distinguish advertising from news and information, using labels or other visual means. This includes "in-house" advertising or cross-corporate ad sponsorships. Search engines, shopping tools and portals should clearly disclose paid result-placement advertising, so consumers may distinguish between objective search results and paid ads.

    Sites should clearly disclose relevant business relationships, including sponsored links to other sites. For example: A site that directs a reader to another site to buy a book should clearly disclose any financial relationship between the two sites.

    Sites should identify sponsors. The site's sponsorship policies should be clearly noted in accompanying text or on an "About Us" or "Site Center" page.

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