The Federal Trade Commission on Monday updated its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising - last updated 29 years ago. And this new revision now includes bloggers.
It's an ongoing practice in the Web landscape that bloggers and Web professionals review products and services for payment of some kind. The FTC now views this practice as an endorsement. The revised guidelines now state those professionals must clearly disclose the relationship between themselves and the company providing the product or service.
Other noteworthy changes include: - Simply stating "results not typical" on an ad is not good enough. Advertisers now need to clearly explain the advertised product or service is not what consumers should typically expect.
- If companies advertise results of research they sponsored, they must disclose this information to consumers.
- Celebrity endorsements also need to clearly state they are providing endorsements. The revision on this part of the Guides is that both the celebrity endorser and the advertiser can be liable for false claims. They also must explain their relationships anywhere the endorsement is taking place.
Maureen Alley, Communications Director for Wisconsin Youth Company, has 18 years of experience in content development ranging from trade magazine editor to public relations and content marketing. She has taught journalism and writing courses at Madison College and Marian University. Maureen holds a Master's of Science in Journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago, and Bachelor of Arts in English and Writing from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.