Home > On-line Marketing News > New FTC Guides on Endorsements and Testimonials Affect Online Marketers

New FTC Guides on Endorsements and Testimonials Affect Online Marketers


A recent article by attorney John Feldman, Partner at Reed Smith, reports on the FTC’s stricter and more transparent rules that will soon govern the use of testimonials and endorsements in advertising. Of course, these new guidelines will affect online marketers, too.

Highlights of the changes from Feldma’s article “Watch What You Say” include:

  • Disclaimers such as “Results not typical” or “Your results may vary” may no longer be enough to protect advertisers against regulatory scrutiny.
  • Advertisers are subject to liability if they do not disclose a material connection that exists between themselves and their endorsers.
  • A celebrity’s financial connection to the advertiser must be disclosed in the context of a routine interview if he or she makes an endorsement.
  • For consumer testimonials, an advertiser cannot pay or otherwise compensate a person to give an endorsement without disclosing the material connection.

According to Feldman, this will specifically impact how marketers leverage blogging as a marketing tactic: “Bloggers who receive compensation—or even free products from advertisers—may now have to disclose that connection with the advertiser if they provide a positive review of those products.”

Which all reminds me of the greatest advertising song every written. Your results may vary.

Full Disclosure: John Feldman is legal counsel to TAAN, the international ad agency network of which DigitalDay is a member.

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