Blog writers Had to Be careful Of Breaking FTC Deceptive Practice Standards When Making Endorsements
The FTC has bied far an advisory opinion that may have dire effects for business that staff member people who are associated with blogging and promote those business items or services while blogging. According to the FTC, this may apply even if these employees are undertaking this blogging on their individual time as well as if company management has no concept what is going on. The FTC recommends that such a blogger has to make readers familiar with his/her connection with the business whose product and services she or he is endorsing.
The FTC has concluded in this advisory opinion that these actions may make up deceptive company practices in infraction of the FTC Act. The FTC Act states a deceptive business practice as being:
1. A practice that represents or omits material info that likely would deceive reasonable customers under the circumstances; and,.
2. A practice that includes a representation or omission that is of product importance to consumers.
The FTC constantly and regularly has actually discovered that a seller’s failure to divulge a relationship that would materially effect a customer’s viewpoint is misleading.
When it comes to the advisory viewpoint, the certain issue was the weight that a customer will naturally offer to a sponsored endorser. The FTC Recommendation Guides set forth:.
“(W)hen there exists a connection in between the endorser and the seller of the marketed product that might materially influence the weight or credibility of the recommendation … such connection has to be totally divulged.”.
A connection is considered to exist in many circumstances when the endorser (here, a blog writer) is paid by the business responsible for offering the product and services or when an endorser has a close company association (or a relative with such an association) with such a company. Without a doubt, according to the FTC, staff members of a business have such a close company association and their connection need to be made public when they make any endorsement.
The bottom line is that it appears business and companies have a task to pro-actively warn their staff members about the dangers of making recommendations through blogging when their connection of that business enterprise is not made public. In a comparable vein, if the staff member is making negative statements about a rival, his/her association with his/her employers should be made public to prevent violating FTC regulations.