The FTC Act and the Guides: What Are They? (Pt. 2)

Additionally, when a blogger writes an endorsement, any expressed experiences that the blogger has with a product or service must be truthful and supplemented by a statement indicating the typical experiences or results of using the product or service (“FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials”). The disclosure of “typical results” would be an issue when discussing a diet plan, for example, or other products and services where outcomes may greatly vary from person to person. When a blogger fails to disclose important information in his/her review or post, both the blogger and the advertiser will be held responsible for any “misleading or unsubstantiated representations made in the course of the blogger’s endorsement” (“Notice of adoption of revised Guides” 16).

The FTC recognizes that advertisers cannot control everything a blogger says; however, it is understood that the advertisers, in choosing to use bloggers to convey messages, “have assumed the risk that an endorser may fail to disclose a material connection or misrepresent a product, and the potential liability that accompanies that risk.” An advertiser can be held liable when they “initiated the process that led to these endorsements being made – e.g., by providing products to well-known bloggers or to endorsers enrolled in word of mouth marketing programs – it potentially is liable for misleading statements made by those consumers” (“Notice of adoption of revised Guides” 14-15). With this in mind, it is important for advertisers to convey complete, accurate information when providing campaigns to bloggers and to review any posts made by bloggers before they are published.

Taken from my research assignment, Blogging and the Law. If you missed any of the previous sections, please click on the links on the sidebar to view them, and stay tuned to read the rest!