Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change
Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

FTC: We're Not Investigating Ashton!

The Federal Trade Commission announced that it has no plans to investigate Ashton Kutcher for alleged lack of disclosures in a special online edition of Details magazine.

The announcement came over Twitter.

Which is kind of cool.

Kutcher had been catching flak from Gawker and the New York Times after he guest edited an online edition of Details dedicated to social media. The issue mentions several companies that Kutcher is involved with, either as an investor or an advisor. The Times and Gawker questions whether this might violate securities laws requiring disclosure or FTC rules about required disclosures for paid promotions on the Internet.

From Nick Bilton's coverage at the Times:

On Thursday, Richard Cleland, assistant director of the division of advertising practices at the Federal Trade Commission, said in an interview that people had an obligation to disclose their investments in that kind of editorial context, adding: “It’s certainly a possibility that a case like this could be investigated.”

But on Friday the FTC appeared to back away from that stance. It issued a statement on Twitter that said: “The FTC is not and has no plans to investigate Ashton Kutcher.” The statement was attributed to David Vladeck, director of the agency’s bureau of consumer protection.

“Rich Cleland misspoke,” said Peter Kaplan, deputy public affairs director at the FTC, in an interview. He declined to elaborate.

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