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Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the U.S. government charged by Congress with protecting Americans from unfair or deceptive business practices. The FTC is headed by five commissioners who serve 7-year terms. Although the president nominates commission members, they must be confirmed by the Senate. By law, no more than three commissioners may be from the same political party. The FTC is divided into three main bureaus: Consumer Protection, Competition, and Economics.

Through its Bureau of Consumer Protection, the FTC regulates product claims made in advertisements in newspapers, magazines, television, radio, direct mail, and Internet media. The FTC is particularly vigorous in its regulation of health claims. However, it has no responsibility for political advertising messages—those are regulated by the Federal Election ...

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