The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will soon issue rules requiring all paid banner advertising networks to post a public notice of their decision to pull advertising from all paid services.
The announcement comes after the FCC’s new chairman, Ajit Pai, released a detailed report in late January outlining how the commission’s ad blocking proposal would affect all paid ad platforms.
Pai said that the proposal would require a significant number of paid advertising platforms to cease using paid advertising.
The new rules would also require all ad platforms to post an online notice explaining why they no longer use paid banner advertisements.
The notice will be made public on the FCC website by the end of this week, but Pai did not provide any details on what content the notice would be for.
The FCC’s notice of proposed rulemaking is intended to address a number of issues raised in Pai’s report, including whether the FCC should require paid advertising providers to post notice of the commission action.
Paid banner advertising platforms are a small segment of ad networks, but they make up the majority of ad revenue in the United States.
The FTC has already announced it will not be seeking to enforce the rule, citing concerns that ad blocking rules would have a chilling effect on speech.
Pai’s commission did not respond to Ars’ request for comment on the proposed rules.
Pai said in the report that he expected the FTC to be taking action against paid banner advertisers because the agency “takes a strong view that they have engaged in unlawful conduct and should be held accountable for it.”
The FTC said that it was also concerned about “the ability of these ad networks to exploit their power to suppress legitimate speech, such as those that address critical issues that impact Americans’ well-being, or those that are otherwise critical to the integrity of our democracy.”
Pai’s proposal would prohibit paid banner ad networks from “advocating, endorsing, or otherwise facilitating” any “commercial activity, including advertising, that is otherwise prohibited by law.”
Pais said in his report that ad networks should be required to post their “terms and conditions of service” for paid advertising on their websites.
The rules would require the ad networks “to explain their policies regarding the content, size, and placement of advertising that they display on their sites.”
Pending final rulesThe rules would go into effect on February 1.
Pai did say in the FCC report that the proposed rule would require paid banner companies to provide information on the amount of their advertising revenue, but he did not say how much revenue would be required.
The commission’s notice will take effect “no later than March 6,” Pai said in an interview with CNNMoney on Tuesday.
“I am confident that we will be able to reach an agreement by that date.”
The new rules will likely not take effect for a few more weeks, but the FTC is expected to be able issue a preliminary injunction against some paid banner providers and other ad networks.
The agency has already warned ad networks that it will be challenging the commission on its proposed rules, saying it is “not at liberty to issue any final rule that would preempt our authority to protect free speech online.”
The agency’s initial request for an injunction against ad networks has been denied by the appeals court that heard the case, which has previously ruled that the FTC has authority to regulate paid banner services.
The appeals court will hear the FTC’s new notice of proposal later this week.
The proposed rule will be subject to an up-or-down vote by the full commission before it can take effect.
Pai told reporters on Wednesday that the full FCC would likely vote to approve the rule as soon as Thursday.