After 30 years, the FTC’s guidelines get a facelift

Can you imagine a world if political speech had absolutely no boundaries? Every candidate would be schlepped off to court for countless acts of misrepresentation, accusations, fabrication, you name it. Everyone needs rules.

Today marks the day the revised FTC regulations go into effect. The update includes needed overhauls from 30 years of marketing, and more specifically the inclusion of social media and the refining of product endorsements. So pay attention everyone, a hefty $11,000 fee is attached for each offence, not your average price of a parking ticket. Even in NYC.

Some of this spans from the rapid growth of new brand integrations into the social media environments, Twitter, Facebook and the like. The Federal Trade Commission has become increasingly concerned about these new methods to market and are implementing these new practices. So while this is a good avenue to chat with your audience, new rules now apply.

The new guidelines address endorsements by consumers, experts, organizations, and celebrities, and the requirements of the disclosure of important connections between advertisers and endorsers. It specifically singles out celebrity spokespeople, requiring them to disclose financial connections to brands when promoting them other than in ads and commercials, such as on talk shows or via social media, and making them personally liable for false claims made about a product.

It has never been in anyone’s best interests to misrepresent the truth, I think we can all point to a few examples that didn’t blow over well. No more disingenuous glowing product reviews, astroturfing, Flogs, omitting true intent, etc. So, thank you FTC for the makeover and a more even playing field to those who were already abiding by the rules.

For more information check out these links:

Ad Age
Ad Week

FTC News Release




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