On December 1st the new FTC Guidelines went into effect. Do you know what that means to you? If you don’t it could get you into a law suite. Yes that is what I said. The federal trade commission has changed the guidelines to now impact bloggers that do paid reviews for products. It is now required that the blogger disclose that they are being paid to do the review. Since there are so many paid bloggers out on the internet that perform this kind of service this is really going to change the way articles and reviews are done from this point forward.
Additionally, the FTC new guidelines do not allow any kind of income claims to be made by individuals that are doing testimonials when done by article or video. Also if the reviewer has received any kind of compensation for the testimonial that has to be revealed as well just like that of bloggers. This also means that any prior testimonials or endorsements that have been made that do not comply with these guidelines will need to be removed or risk being made an example by the FTC.
Those are some big changes. So if you have any endorsements on any of your web sites you need to remove them until you have had time to review each one to make sure that it complies with the new guidelines. This could be a big task and in some cases may require you to shut down a campaign until you can change the materials that are used to be compliant.
There are several articles that go into more detail if you want to know more but the bottom line is you can not ignore this. You need to take action to make sure your business is not shut down. The fines can be fairly steep as is pointed out by Adam Ostrow where he says they could be as high as $11,000 for not disclosing this information.
This kind of behavior has been going on for a long time in the internet world and it will talk a long time for all of this to be weeded out. The FTC will have a long road in front of them when it comes to being able to enforce these new guidelines. Make sure you are not one of the ones they choose to make and example of as they beginning to enforce these guidelines.
For more information on this subject here are a few article sites that I felt had some good information: