For anyone out there that is or wants to market products or services on the internet, this piece of policy will absolutely apply to you. I believe this is long overdue and will help keep the scam artists off the internet for a little while…until they figure out another way to beat the system. It is my opinion that, if your product works the way you say it does than you shouldn’t be worried. Here’s the new guidelines as stated by the FTC.
The revised Guidelines state that:
· The Guidelines apply to Bloggers and online word-of-mouth marketers and require them to disclose any material connection to a company when reviewing the company’s products or services (failure to disclose any payment or receipt of free product from an advertiser or someone acting on their behalf could expose you to liability);
· Both advertisers and endorsers can be liable for false or unsubstantiated claims made in an endorsement (if you were given a product for free or were paid to write a review, then the claims you make about the product must be accurate and substantiated);
· Advertisements containing consumer endorsements, or testimonials, must disclose what results a reasonable consumer could expect from the product and can no longer rely on a disclaimer that “results may vary”;
The complete revised Guidelines can be found at http://ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf. The FTC has also posted several short videos explaining the Guidelines at http://www.ftc.gov/multimedia/video/business/endorsement-guides.shtm.