FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials



Step 1 is reached: The naturopathic mafia shills must disclose their "support"
they receive from their "sponsors":


http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm

<quote>
For Release: 10/05/2009
FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials
Changes Affect Testimonial Advertisements, Bloggers, Celebrity Endorsements

The Federal Trade Commission today announced that it has approved final
revisions to the guidance it gives to advertisers on how to keep their
endorsement and testimonial ads in line with the FTC Act.

The notice incorporates several changes to the FTC&#8217;s Guides
Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, which
address endorsements by consumers, experts, organizations, and
celebrities, as well as the disclosure of important connections between
advertisers and endorsers. The Guides were last updated in 1980.

Under the revised Guides, advertisements that feature a consumer and
convey his or her experience with a product or service as typical when
that is not the case will be required to clearly disclose the results that
consumers can generally expect. In contrast to the 1980 version of the
Guides &#8211; which allowed advertisers to describe unusual results in a
testimonial as long as they included a disclaimer such as &#8220;results
not typical&#8221; &#8211; the revised Guides no longer contain this safe
harbor.

The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long standing
principle that &#8220;material connections&#8221; (sometimes payments or
free products) between advertisers and endorsers &#8211; connections that
consumers would not expect &#8211; must be disclosed. These examples
address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by
bloggers or other &#8220;word-of-mouth&#8221; marketers. The revised
Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case
basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to
review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an
endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the
seller of the product or service. Likewise, if a company refers in an
advertisement to the findings of a research organization that conducted
research sponsored by the company, the advertisement must disclose the
connection between the advertiser and the research organization. And a
paid endorsement &#8211; like any other advertisement &#8211; is deceptive
if it makes false or misleading claims.

Celebrity endorsers also are addressed in the revised Guides. While the
1980 Guides did not explicitly state that endorsers as well as advertisers
could be liable under the FTC Act for statements they make in an
endorsement, the revised Guides reflect Commission case law and clearly
state that both advertisers and endorsers may be liable for false or
unsubstantiated claims made in an endorsement &#8211; or for failure to
disclose material connections between the advertiser and endorsers. The
revised Guides also make it clear that celebrities have a duty to disclose
their relationships with advertisers when making endorsements outside the
context of traditional ads, such as on talk shows or in social media.

The Guides are administrative interpretations of the law intended to help
advertisers comply with the Federal Trade Commission Act; they are not
binding law themselves. In any law enforcement action challenging the
allegedly deceptive use of testimonials or endorsements, the Commission
would have the burden of proving that the challenged conduct violates the
FTC Act.

The Commission vote approving issuance of the Federal Register notice
detailing the changes was 4-0. The notice will be published in the Federal
Register shortly, and is available now on the FTC&#8217;s Web site as a
link to this press release. Copies also are available from the FTC&#8217;s
Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.,
Washington, DC 20580.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent,
deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to
help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or
Spanish, visit the FTC&#8217;s online Complaint Assistant or call
1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer
Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,700 civil and
criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC&#8217;s
Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.


MEDIA CONTACT:
Betsy Lordan
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-3707
STAFF CONTACT:
Richard Cleland
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-3088
(FTC File No. P034520)
(endorsement testimonial guide.wpd)
</quote>


Step 2: The naturopathic mafia shills will be held responsible for the damage
they cause to health and financial welfare of their victims.

Step 2 is in the make.
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