FACT SHEET: FTC guidance on endorsements, testimonials

FACT SHEET: FTC guidance on endorsements, testimonials

In 2009, the FTC revised its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising to including social media. The guidance is not legally binding.

The guide helps advertisers and endorsers comply with Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices in commerce, according to the commission.

The FTC has also issued several "closing letters" announcing that it was closing (without bringing charges) investigations of companies that used social media endorsements in their marketing.

The FTC also has some excellent consumer and business education pieces on the revised endorsement guides.

Business education materials from the FTC:

http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus71-ftcs-revised-endorsement-guideswhat-people-are-asking

FTC news releases on endorsements:

Closing letters:

http://www.ftc.gov/os/closings/100420anntaylorclosingletter.pdf

Revised endorsement guide – legal document

Tips for disclosing financial connection:

  • Disclosure should be part of message so it can't be missed. E.g.:
  • ABC Hotel paid for my stay
  • Adventureland comped my admission
  • On Twitter:  #paid, #ad
  • Word of Mouth Marketing Ass'n has a Social Media Marketing Disclosure Guide