FEC gives greenlight to Google on minimal disclosure

The Federal Elections Commission (FEC) issued an opinion recently that will allow for minimal disclosure on political ads that appear on the side of Google searches.

The commission said in an advisory opinion that text ads purchased through the Google AdWords program need not state the candidate or political action committee that paid for the ad, as Google had urged in an August filing. It is sufficient for candidates to include the URL of the sponsor, linking to a website that contains a full disclosure statement, according to the agency.

The reason is that such ads only have a headline and two lines of text, so it would be tough to include a full disclaimer.