There’s been a lot of chatter the past few days about the FTC’s “new” ruling regarding a website’s or blog’s disclosure about endorsements and testimonials. Unfortunately, there has also been a lot of misinformation circulating as well. I’d like to point out that as of October 5, 2009, the FTC hasn’t published the Guides concerning this issue. In their recent release, FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials, the FTC states that:
The notice incorporates several changes to the FTC’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, which address endorsements by consumers, experts, organizations, and celebrities, as well as the disclosure of important connections between advertisers and endorsers. The Guides were last updated in 1980.–SOURCE:
If you notice, the guides were last updated in 1980, which was well before the internet or advanced cell phone technology even existed. As I’ve mentioned many times before, we’re still in the wild, wild west days of the internet. The technology has been changing so rapidly, that the government and the law haven’t had the chance to get caught up yet. I’m sure we’ll see more enhancements to existing guidelines and new laws develop within the next, few years.
When the FTC does publish their new Guide, I’ll be sure to offer a link here on my blog. The ruling goes into effect December 1st, but please don’t panic. The reason why the FTC started working on this was because of fake testimonials from the weight loss industry. Chances are, if you have a personal blog, you wouldn’t be effected by this. If you do review a restaurant or a product, I’d simply state where you bought it from or if you got it for a review.
Hope that helps!