Monday, October 5th, 2009

FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements & Testimonials

Posted today on the FTC website:

If you know anything about the Acai Berry or the Google Bizops going around then you will know that most of the landing pages that affiliates are creating have several testimonials included.  Here are some exerpts from the new amendment to these rules.  These 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 – which allowed advertisers to describe unusual results in a testimonial as long as they included a disclaimer such as “results not typical” – the revised Guides no longer contain this safe harbor.

Also this:

both advertisers and endorsers may be liable for false or unsubstantiated claims made in an endorsement – or for failure to disclose material connections between the advertiser and endorsers.

Do we have to state that we get a commission per sale of a product?  This can be very interesting.  Will we now hear Oprah say “Acai Berry X paid me $1 Million to tell you their product ROCKS!” ???

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34 Responses

October 5, 2009

thx for this post, I would have missed it.

It’s becoming more and more important for
affiliate marketeers to offer real value than
just make up crap. I’ve been a firm believer
in offering real value to the consumer.

October 5, 2009

Promote outside the US like the ballers do. Situation solved.

October 6, 2009

@Ruck ha

If this is the case, it would turn the affiliate marketing sector upside down. Could you imagine? We’d have to actually tell people when we are feeing them a line of crap?

October 6, 2009

Not a good news for many bloggers. Thank good there is no such rules for bloggers in Europe and I hope it remains as it is.

October 6, 2009

Thanks for the info, i caught the headline on cnn but was listening to something.

Not sure how they plan to enforce, I would love to know what Oprah gets haha

October 9, 2009

Now that a great news and i must say thanks to you. This will no doubt help in reinstating the faith in the minds of the consumers about affiliate industry and will also help in disinfecting the affiliate industry of the germs plaguing it. This change will also deter the product creators from displaying false claims that are designed to rob the customers of their hard earned money. A change definitely in the right direction!

October 10, 2009

Well it will be interesting to see how the marketing world adapts to the changes, and what solutions they bring forward to still continue to make money. I find it funny now that both endorser and seller can be liable for a bad product, I wonder if that will mean alot less endorsements as a result, LOL.

Till then,


Hi there, personally I think it is the governments attempt to police even more of our own free speech and I don’t agree with it all…The very thing that has made the internet such a success is the ability of people to freely share their ideas and views…and yes even dare I say it reviews or endorsements of other products…I can’t see that this is going to be possible to manage of many new blogs and sites are created each day? A lot!!..Thanks for the info

October 13, 2009

I got into a discussion about the testimonial issue earlier today strangely enough…

My best (or worst for that matter) guess is that only 10-20% of all testimonials include earnings figures.

If they’re removed surely the rest of the testimonials would comply with the up and coming regulations?

It’s a case of just HOW powerful is seeing those figures in print for the average customer.


Tony Shepherd

October 19, 2009

About time! Fake testimonials (or even worse – paid for testimonials without any substance….) is the bane of my existence, and should be mercilessly stamped out, along with all forms of spam! The world of the internet will be a much better place for it!

October 20, 2009

This will definitely make the advertisings more reliable for the customers. Thanks for the information.

October 21, 2009

Great Work!
I think this is very must for the Web Traffic!The Idea Is Very simple to follow But i Think This is Not much Reliable in Today’s word!

October 23, 2009

I think this is yet another attempt to control what is and isn’t allowed online. Look at our country we are running away from the democratic ways. In fact our government is slowly buying into our major industries right before our eyes. But that’s another topic all together.

This is good news for consumers and not very good news for webmasters.

October 26, 2009

Consumers can now trust on advertises. Good information thanks for sharing.

October 28, 2009

The US government seems to be very good at removing the need for personal responsibility from their citizens. Look at what happened to the financial sector – so many rules and regulations created a false sense of security and did nothing to prevent the meltdown. Fewer rules would be better – at least then consumers would know that they need to look out for themselves.

November 1, 2009

Say it reviews or endorsements of other products…I can’t see that this is going to be possible to manage of many new blogs and sites are created each day? A lot!!..Thanks for the info

November 1, 2009
Big T

This website has become garbage…when Ruck ran it, it was full of useful info….since then, it is lucky to have a worthless post a month.
Ruck should have just shut it down. Why take over a good website and not do anything with it? I am done with this place, way to ruin a good thing.

November 2, 2009

I just want to know: Will reviewers who work in print and broadcast media need to disclose their relationships too? When I worked in radio, I developed personal relationships with reps from each of the major record companies and some of the movie studios. I also received every new release from the major record companies plus concert tickets and movie screenings. This was standard practice and I have no reason to believe this has changed.

November 2, 2009

Great info indeed.

November 2, 2009

The more I look at the changes that they made I think it has much more potential to affect the direct marketing sector than the affiliate marketing folks. While affiliate marketing will need to make some big changes many if not most of the 1 am commercials won’t even be usable now.

November 2, 2009

Sooner or later it would happen anyways. This quality and relevance criteria can be and will form the internet of tomorrow in many its aspects. You just have to look closely and draw conclusions.

November 2, 2009

Nice punchline! I’d really like to see Oprah saying this:) I think it is obvious that some people get money for
advertising some products.

November 4, 2009

@ Big T – Why don’t you offer to do some guest posting in order to get some more quality material onto this blog? Rather than just critisizing come up with a solution, man!

November 4, 2009

I think they are over reaching here the old standard was good. What I don’t understand is some of the comments above that seem to imply the writers thinks it is OK to have no standards and bogus testimonials.

November 6, 2009

Very well written article and the way you ended the article was great and interesting. Lol. Thanks for sharing nice information here.
Keep posting similar posts.

November 6, 2009

These are very interesting developments. It suddenly forces all bloggers and internet marketers to be very careful in how they use reviews. No longer can you just make up a review with nothing to back it up. I just wonder how aggressive they will be with these new rules. Only time will tell.

November 6, 2009

@Affiliate Marketing Company, It will improve the quality of ads, and as a result I think we will see higher revenues for publishers, since companies are going to be more trusting in putting their money into PPC programs, but to say that this is the beginning of the end of spamming? No way… spammers are getting smarter and smarter! And plus… this really has nothing to do with spammers… lol

Till then,


December 8, 2009

it would turn the affiliate marketing sector upside down. These are very interesting developments. This is good news..

July 8, 2010

Great info indeed..
Thanks for sharing….

July 24, 2010

Nice and informative blog ..thanks for share with us…

July 24, 2010

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