FTC not amused by sleight-of-hand ads and issues “dark patterns” report to expose methods
Ad trickery using psychological games, misleading claims, hidden disclosures or other bait and switch tactics are not new to sales, but the move to online has presented new opportunities to lure and ensnare prospective buyers. A new US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report displays examples of what’s called “dark patterns,” deceptive design practices used to dupe customers. The report is part of a larger effort by the FTC to identify and stop unfair business practices. This shortly after the FTC issued a policy statement warning companies against illegally tricking or trapping unwitting consumers, and suing companies found to be deceiving individuals with maze-like processes to keep them from cancelling ongoing charges.