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Says Financial Marketers Need More Effective Language

By Published on .

WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- Federal Trade Commission Chairman Tim Muris at a Washington conference today about financial privacy notices described some of the notices issued this year by financial marketers as "dreadful" and strongly suggested they needed to become more readable.

Mr. Muris, who

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Easily Understandable Forms, Language Sought
was the first speaker, made no threat of new legislation, but said government requirements to provide the notice give marketers a yearly opportunity "for making the notices more friendly."

He said privacy notices become "effective" only when they are "easy to find, easy to read and easy to comprehend."

Today's conference, which was sponsored by eight government agencies including the FTC and the Federal Reserve, comes amid criticism that after Congress mandated financial marketers to issue the notices, regulators hadn't done enough to see that they were easily readable.

An FTC official said today his agency would be listening to ideas for how the notices could be more effective.

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