Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Results aren't typical: FTC bringing truth to testimonials

Results aren't typical: FTC bringing truth to testimonials: "The FTC has finally updated a long-overdue guide on endorsements and testimonials to address changes in technology and advertising mediums. The new rules are designed to bring greater truth and disclosure to blogs, TV ads relying on testimonials and social media.

The updated guide has garnered the most press for its ruling that bloggers can be fined up to $11,000 if they don't disclose that they got cash or products for posting a testimonial. While most bloggers and respected word-of-mouth marketing firms have required this disclosure, the ruling and its large penalty should help consumers trust online reviews.

The second change, however, is one that more consumers will see, or should I say hear, sooner and more often.

The FTC strengthened 1980 guidelines that let weight-loss products, get-rich-quick real estate schemes and all other manner of products showcase the few individuals who experienced blockbuster success with just an asterisk to show that results aren't typical. Now, individuals must state in their testimonial that 'their results aren't typical.'"

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