FTC Proposal For Bloggers

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Here we go:

The Federal Trade Commission recently released proposed changes to their Consumer Product Testimonial and Endorsement Rules. They are:

An advertisement containing a consumer endorsement about the performance of an advertised product or service must reflect the actual performance of the product or service. Essentially the advertiser must have sufficient evidence, if applicable, competent and scientific evidence, to verify that the consumer endorsement is correct. Sec. 255.2(a)

In addition, the consumer endorsement must be representative of the results consumers would generally achieve. The endorsement can not be an atypical result. Advertisers must also have sufficient evidence to support general results.

These proposed changes do not apply to highly subjective testimonials for certain products such as movies, games, or restaurants. But if the advertiser is paying the consumer endorser to endorse the product, then the above rules do apply.

Most importantly, if an advertiser is paying a consumer to endorse a product with cash or free products, then the advertiser and the consumer must disclose the financial relationship. If not, both advertiser and consumer may be held liable for making false statements.

You need to read the rest at IP Law 101 on what the Federal Trade Commission is talking about doing. They have a breakdown of how it could impact bloggers.

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One Comment

  1. Ron said April 8, 2009 | Permalink

    I’ve been pondering this one for awhile, and as someone who gets free stuff to review all the time, it would directly affect me. Does this mean that, because Lionsgate sends me a free DVD, that I have to specifically say “Lionsgate sent me a free DVD” somewhere in my review? Because I never see Roger Ebert or any credentialed media type say “Lionsgate sent me tickets for a screening of their new Rob Schneider movie”.

    Is there something I’m not understanding?

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