My question concerns the requirement for advertisements to carry a disclaimer stating that they are advertisements, specifically in the United States. According to the FTC (though not in these words), an advertisement delivered through a trusted medium, such as the words of a celebrity or the side of an email client, has financial incentive to exaggerate the effectiveness of the product. Therefore, ads can mislead the public by using the trust in the medium to present the biased claims as truth, if it is not made clear that the information was sponsored and therefore may not be entirely unbiased.
Obviously, if a blogger publishes a blog post stating that he or she used a given product and lost X amount of weight in Y amount of time, and this blogger received compensation from the maker of the product for this blog post, it would be misleading not to disclose that this was a paid advertisement. However, what about ads that make no claims whatsoever?
If a Coca Cola employee were to spray paint the Coke logo onto a telephone booth, this could encourage people nearby to drink more Coke, but there was no disputable claim made. Not only that, but a similar situation could happen organically as well, if say a supermarket marked its beverage aisle with the Coke logo. There's no claim, no possible source of exaggeration, simply an image, and the assumption that it will increase sales. Does this logo on the telephone booth then need a disclaimer? The same logic could be extended to the giant advertisements in Times Square in NYC, which often do not feature claims, just branding.