Ad Watchers: Where is the Line Between Ethical Design and Dark Patterns?

November 9, 2022

 

Think about the times you felt tricked or frustrated by a membership or subscription that had a seamless signup process but was later difficult to cancel. Something that should be simple and transparent can be complicated, intentionally or unintentionally, in ways that impair consumer choice. These are examples of dark patterns. Unfortunately, dark patterns are becoming increasingly common as companies look for ways to boost profits. While some may seem harmless, others can have serious consequences for users. 

In this episode of Ad Watchers, hosts Eric and Annie are joined by guest Deputy Director of the National Advertising Division, Katherine Armstrong to explore where the line is between ethical design and dark patterns. Together, these three explore the FTC’s recent report on the dark patterns, provide some real examples from NAD cases, and deliver commentary on the FTC’s response to the proliferation of these dark patterns. Listen now to understand the most common dark pattern tactics and how you can avoid them while still producing compelling, persuasive advertising.   

For more information about this episode, read the show notes here.

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