The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently approved new guidelines with respect to certain aspects of online marketing. These guidelines represent administrative interpretations concerning the application of Section 5 of the FTC Act (15 U.S.C. 45) regarding the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, and are intended to prevent and eliminate deceptive practices. You can view the new FTC guidelines here – http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm
While many of our clients are Canadian–based companies, a significant number of them market their products and services online to US–based customers and should therefore play close attention to these rules. As a first step, if you have an internal legal department, have it take a look at your current online practices. If you don’t have an internal team, you may want to check with your legal counsel. Testimonials and endorsements are powerful tools in any marketer’s arsenal. When used ethically, they can add significant equity to your brand. Read the new guidelines and make sure your company is onside. If you have already done so, please share your insights by leaving us a comment.
For an excellent post on this, check out New York Times best selling author Joel Comm’s blog at – http://www.joelcomm.com/new_ftc_rules_for_testimonials_1.html