Whether you are an FTC fan or foe, we can all agree that one of the agency’s crown jewels is its consumer and business education program. For decades, this program has provided information that has helped consumers protect themselves and has provided businesses with important information and guidance to inform their decision making. And probably the most precious of these jewels is the FTC Business Blog.
For well over a decade, this blog has been the go-to place for those of us who advise companies about recent FTC developments and for businesses that want to stay on top of what’s going on at the agency. The analysis is always spot-on, and material is presented in a way that is unique, entertaining and sometimes just laugh-out-loud funny. This is the blog that explained the importance of compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by comparing it to everyone’s favorite Village People song, YMCA.
So why are we writing in our blog about the FTC Business Blog today? Well, the FTC recently did a full redesign of its website. And although we occasionally think that change is good, there seems to be something quite problematic with this redesign. From what we can tell, a whole lot of the Business Blog content is gone from the website. We were looking for some older blogs the other day and kept encountering lots of broken links to the blog. For some of these, we could eventually find the content by doing searches using the author’s name, but that seems suboptimal to say the least. And to be clear, some of the content is just gone. Poof. Disappeared. Like many of our hopes and dreams.
Now, we understand there is a need to get rid of some older content, freshen things up, and certainly replace and modernize when you are doing a website redesign. But these blogs are important and informative and should be easily accessible for practitioners, businesses and consumers that also benefit from these materials. So consider this our informal petition to the powers that be at the agency. We are going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that the disappearance of a great deal of Business Blog content was some unfortunate oversight; and we get it, those things happen. We have all been there, ordering stuff online late at night – and two days later, a shipment arrives, and we wonder what the heck we were up to two nights ago. But it is not too late to undo what has been done and get us back all the Business Blog content with working links. Informing the public and the business community about the FTC’s current and past actions is an important part of the agency’s mission, and Nobody Does It Better than the FTC Business Blog.