A HIPPO Internet Marketing Training blog by Corey Creed

The Jungle Map, your guide through internet marketing

New FTC Regulations for Advertisers & Bloggers

October 9th, 2009

Did you see the new regulations?  The FTC has changed their

“Guides Concerning the Use of
Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

This is worth noting.  After all, the guides were last updated in 1980.

These have the potential to affect all Internet marketers.  We advertise, we blog, and we could even be considered “mini-celebrities” at times.

The press release is found here and this is the 81–page pdf that provides full details.  Here are the parts you may want to take note of.

Regarding testimonials

In 1980, the guides “allowed advertisers to describe unusual results in a testimonial as long as they included a disclaimer such as “results on typical” – the revised guides no longer contain this safe harbor.”

Regarding payments for blogging

“ …the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service.”

Regarding endorsements

“ …advertisers and endorsers may be liable for false or unsubstantiated claims made in an endorsement – or for failure to disclose material connections between the advertiser and endorsers.”

Regarding using SOCIAL MEDIA

“The revised Guides also make it clear that celebrities have a duty to disclose their relationships with advertisers when making endorsements outside the context of traditional ads, such as on talk shows or in social media.

Regarding law enforcement

“The Guides are administrative interpretations of the law intended to help advertisers comply with the Federal Trade Commission Act; they are not binding law themselves. In any law enforcement action…  the Commission would have the burden of proving that the challenged conduct violates the FTC Act.”

* I was not paid or compensated in any way by the FTC to write this post.