Using endorsements is a key component in many advertisements. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updated its guidelines for endorsements that appear in advertising. Importantly, this not only applies to broadcast advertisements but to digital advertising as well. The revised guidelines require enhanced disclosure requirements when a person is paid or receives anything of value to promote a product. It also addresses the distortion of consumer reviews to promote products. The policies specifically address endorsements made by broadcasters' on-air employees. The FTC’s primary concern is to avoid unfair and deceptive advertising. The FTC noted:
"The Federal Trade Commission today announced it has finalized an updated version of its Endorsement Guides, which provide agency guidance to businesses and others to ensure that advertising using reviews or endorsements is truthful.
The Endorsement Guides advise businesses on what practices may be unfair or deceptive in violation of the FTC Act, and they were last revised in 2009. In May 2022, the FTC announced it was seeking public comments on proposed updates to the Guides to reflect the ways advertisers now reach consumers to promote products and services, including through social media and reviews."
So, if your advertisements contain endorsements, this guide is worth a look.
There is also an updated FAQ entitled "FTC Endorsement Guide: What People Are Asking.” You can access the FTC’s new endorsement guidelines here.