Gray Areas of FTC Guidelines (7:01)

Posted on by Abby Johnson |

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Although the FTC‘s new advertising guidelines are scheduled to go into effect tomorrow, there are still many gray areas that have yet to be clarified. WebProNews caught up with Wendy Piersall, Founder of the Woo! Jr. Network, and spoke with her about many of the “It depends,” scenarios regarding the new rules.

The Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising hope to regulate how advertisers utilize endorsements by consumers, experts, organizations, celebrities, and bloggers. The FTC is calling for these parties to openly disclose their relationships with the company or brand they are endorsing, which is causing quite a rise from the blogosphere.

Piersall raised many points on both sides of the debate. On one side, many people feel like they have to “justify” what they are talking about. For example, someone may provide a complimentary statement toward a brand without realizing that it could be perceived as an endorsement. Piersall said she has become very conscious of how she injects brands into her work.

On the flip side, if someone is willing to associate his personal brand with another brand, then he must also be willing to face the consequences that could be affiliated with it. According to Piersall, while brands should not expect bloggers to spread their message for free, bloggers should also be open and disclose their relationship.

Although the gray areas remain, Piersall hopes that people take both the ethics and consequences into consideration moving forward. To read the complete text of the guidelines, the official documentation can be found here.

Posted in: Advertising and Marketing, Blogging, BlogWorld Expo 2009, Digital Media, Legal, Media, Social Media, Wendy Piersall
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