Consumers might not understand that “affiliate link” means that the person placing the link is getting paid for purchases through the link. It’s how I start my day!” and takes a sip – a disclosure probably isn’t necessary. But even if you don’t specifically ask for their endorsement, there may be an expectation that attendees will spread the word about the restaurant. The enactment was … If your product has changed, it’s best to get new endorsements. The disclosure should be easy to notice and read in the time that your followers have to look at the image. review would be considered an endorsement under the Guides. The words “Sponsored” and “Promotion” use only 9 characters. Neither is placing it below your review or below the link to the online retailer so readers would have to keep scrolling after they finish reading. That said, some of your tweets responding to questions about the event might not be endorsements, because they aren’t communicating your opinions about the conference (for example, if someone just asks you for a link to the conference agenda). Federal Communications Commission law (FCC, not FTC) requires TV stations to include disclosures of product placement in TV shows. A disclosure that is made in both audio and video is more likely to be noticed by consumers. I’m an affiliate marketer with links to an online retailer on my website. Does it matter? Furthermore, an endorsement may not convey any express or implied representation that would be deceptive if made directly by the advertiser. I’m opening a new restaurant. Many people enjoy sharing their fondness for a particular product or service with their social networks. 49 0 obj <> endobj Can that be solved by placing a badge for the conference in my Twitter profile? The Guides include several examples with practical advice on this topic. What do I have to disclose? Is it OK for me to click a “like” button, pin a picture, or share a link to show that I’m a fan of a particular business, product, website or service as part of a paid campaign? Do we still need to disclose which reviews were of free products? Ask for regular reports confirming that the program is operating properly and monitor the network periodically. All of our employees agree to abide by this policy when they are hired. (noun) If the payment for the endorsement isn’t expected by the audience and it would affect the weight the audience gives the endorsement, it should be disclosed. For example, if an app developer gave you their 99-cent app for free for you to review it, that information might not have much effect on the weight that readers give to your review. Our company’s policy says that employees shouldn’t post positive reviews online about our products without clearly disclosing their relationship to the company. We want to run ads featuring endorsements from consumers who achieved the best results with our company’s product. Nonetheless, Canada’s advertising standards will likely be updated in 2017 to require something similar to the FTC’s Endorsement Guides. With respect to posting the conference’s badge on your Twitter profile page, a disclosure on a profile page isn’t sufficient because many people in your audience probably won’t see it. The Reversals rule will become effective June 30, 2021 and the Enforcement rule will be effective January 1, 2021. Endorsements must reflect the honest opinions or experiences of the endorser, and your plan could cause people to make up positive reviews even if they’ve never done business with you. A hyperlink like that isn’t likely to be sufficient. Therefore, if you give free products to reviewers you should disclose next to any average or other summary rating that it includes reviewers who were given free products. The connection between an endorser and a marketer should be disclosed in whatever language or languages the endorsement is made, so your disclosures should be in Spanish. Putting disclosures in obscure places – for example, buried on an ABOUT US or GENERAL INFO page, behind a poorly labeled hyperlink or in a “terms of service” agreement – isn’t good enough. The Guides give the example of a blogger commissioned by an advertiser to review a new body lotion. We tell them to make sure that what they and anyone they pay on our behalf do complies with the FTC’s Guides. I’ll review someone else’s book on a book review site or a bookstore site if he or she reviews my book. What can I do? Is that true? Where in my blog should I disclose that my review is sponsored by a marketer? On her own initiative and without us asking, one of our employees used her personal social network simply to “like” or “share” one of our company’s posts. Another principle in the Guides applies to ads that feature endorsements from people who achieved exceptional, or even above average, results. Starting a tweet with “Ad:” or “#ad” – which takes only 3 characters – would likely be effective. Our company’s social media program is run by our public relations firm. Consumers may be confused by “#employee.” Consumers would be more likely to understand “#XYZ_Employee.” Then again, if consumers don’t associate your company’s name with the product or brand being endorsed, that disclosure might not work. The key question is always the same: If consumers knew the company gave it to you for free (or at a substantial discount), might that information affect how much weight they give your review? The FTC conducts investigations and brings cases involving endorsements made on behalf of an advertiser under Section 5 of the FTC Act, which generally prohibits deceptive advertising. How do the principles in the Guides affect me? But we have several thousand people working here and we can’t monitor what they all do on their own computers and other devices when they aren’t at work. You bet. We’re going to have these reviewers announce at the beginning of each video (before the action starts) that it’s “sponsored by XYZ” and also have a prominent simultaneous disclosure on the screen saying the same thing. How can I make a disclosure when my message is limited to 280 characters? It's a lot easier to understand and harder to miss. Limitation on Warranty Claims. But “Thanks XYZ for the free product” or “Thanks XYZ for the gift of ABC product” would be good enough – if that’s all you got from XYZ. We may address them in future FAQs. Whether they give you a code, ship it directly to you, or give you money to buy it yourself, it’s all the same for the purpose of having to disclose that you got the product for free. What about a “buy now” button? If you get free meals, you should let your readers know so they can factor that in when they read your reviews. And even assuming the reviewers in your program are unbiased, your customers have the right to know which reviewers were given products for free. I disclose my relationship with the association in my blogs and in the tweets and posts I make about the event during the hours I’m working. Do I need to make a disclosure? That common-sense premise is at the heart of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC). I create sponsored beauty videos on YouTube. Getting early access doesn’t mean that you got paid. What should we do? We believe honest reviews help our customers and we give out free products to a select group of our customers for them to review. Does she need to disclose that she works for our company? Followers might not know why you are tagging a dress and some might think you’re doing it just because you like the dress and want them to know. Famous male sports figures will not be endorsing facial creams; they'll be selling athletic shoes or clothing. Endorsement lends some advantages both to the product and the endorser. A separate CDL endorsement will be required for drivers to pull 2 trailers (doubles) or 3 trailers (triples) at the same time. There are two issues here. If the post is an ad, then employees endorsing the post should disclose their relationship to the company. Statements like “Results not typical” or “Individual results may vary” won’t change that interpretation. Does that still have to be disclosed? But if a significant portion of his followers don’t know that, the relationship should be disclosed. The act of the signing a cheque, for the purpose of transferring to the someone else, is called the endorsement of Cheque. Even if you don’t think it affects your evaluation of the product, what matters is whether knowing that you got the knife for free might affect how, Yes, an endorsement can be aspirational. I've seen some say it at the top and others at the bottom. Even though the services might say that a review is not “required,” it’s at least implied that a review is expected. To be cautious, you could have a continuous, clear and conspicuous disclosure throughout the entire stream. The association is only hiring me for five hours a week. Generally not, but if concerns about possible violations of the FTC Act come to our attention, we evaluate them case by case. No. If you get early access, you can say that, but if you get to keep the game or are paid, you should say so. Probably. Using these features to endorse a company’s products or services as part of a sponsored brand campaign probably requires a disclosure. Send them to. For example, if customers are told in advance that their comments might be used in advertising, they might expect to receive a payment for a positive review, and that could influence what they say, even if you tell them that you want their honest opinion. The FTC is only concerned about endorsements that are made on behalf of a sponsoring advertiser. You probably wouldn’t need a disclosure in that context. Will we be liable if someone in our network says something false about our product or fails to make a disclosure? .” will usually be effective. If the advertiser doesn’t have proof that the endorser’s experience represents what people will generally achieve using the product as described in the ad (for example, by just taking a pill daily for two months), then an ad featuring that endorser must make clear to the audience what the generally expected results are. You do some research and find a glowing review on someone’s blog that a particular resort is the most luxurious place he has ever stayed. So a disclosure that simply said you got the app for free wouldn’t be good enough, but as discussed above, you don’t have to disclose exactly how much you were paid. However, the same general principle – that people get the information they need to evaluate sponsored statements – applies across the board, regardless of the advertising medium. To file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. They simply recommend those products to their readers because they believe in them. An insurance endorsement is an amendment or addition to an existing insurance contract that changes the terms or scope of the original policy. To get feedback on the food and service, I’m inviting my family and friends to eat for free. Our company uses a network of bloggers and other social media influencers to promote our products. The disclosures we are talking about are brief and there is no space-related reason to use a hyperlink to provide access to them. When in the review should I make the disclosure? close to the claims to which they relate. NOTE: The answers have been provided by the IIAT technical staff based on our interpretation of the law and rules and the opinions expressed in Best Practices for Certificates of Insurance. Watch a video, How to File a Complaint, at consumer.ftc.gov/media to learn more. For example, simply flagging that a post contains paid content might not be sufficient if the post mentions multiple brands and not all of the mentions were paid. Having multiple disclosures during the video would be even better. For instance, ISO dictates the addition of a nuclear energy liability exclusion to all general liability policies. Agencies asking their employees to spread the word must instruct those employees about their responsibilities to disclose their relationship to the product they are endorsing, e.g., “My employer is paid to promote [name of product],” or simply “Advertisement,” or when space is an issue, “Ad” or “#ad.”. Listing your employer on your profile page isn’t enough. A company is giving me a free product to review on one particular website or social media platform. There are two types of DGR endorsement: where an organisation as a whole falls within a DGR category For example, a network devoted to the sale of health products may require more supervision than a network promoting, say, a new fashion line. Is it ok if it’s at the end? An endorsement is an amendment to a document or contract, an authorizing signature, or a public declaration of support. It’s more likely that a disclosure at the end of the video will be missed, especially if someone doesn’t watch the whole thing. Getting a “sneak peek” of the game doesn’t even mean that you get to keep the game. CDL drivers will be required to pass a specific knowledge test to get their doubles-triples endorsement, and the doubles-triples endorsement will be … Law enforcement actions can result in orders requiring the defendants in the case to give up money they received from their violations and to abide by various requirements in the future. In that situation, it’s clear that you did not buy the product yourself – whether it’s a book or a car or a movie ticket. Yes. Many people know that she regularly charges advertisers to mention their products in her tweets. To see the rest, you have to click “more.” If an Instagram post makes an endorsement through the picture or the beginning lines of the description, any required disclosure should be presented without having to click “more.”. But even if a disclosure like that is clearer, no disclosure is effective if consumers don’t see it and read it. If YouTube has been enabled to run ads during your video, a disclosure that is obscured by ads is not clear and conspicuous. If you write about how much you like something you bought on your own and you’re not being rewarded, you don’t have to worry. No. The same guidance also would apply to comments by the expert in her blog or on her website. They are as follow: They are as follow: i.Transfer of ownership of specific or ascertained goods: No. June 30, 2021 . What matters is whether the information would have an effect on the weight readers would give your review. If that isn’t clear, then that disclosure wouldn’t be good enough. We realize that some platforms – like Facebook’s “like” buttons – don’t allow you to make a disclosure. A disclosure should be placed where it easily catches consumers’ attention and is difficult to miss. If it’s clear that what’s on your site is a paid advertisement, you don’t have to make additional disclosures. It depends on whether his followers understand that he’s being paid to endorse that product. However, even if the language is understandable, a disclosure also must be prominent so it will be noticed and read. What if I’m including links to product marketers or to retailers as a convenience to my readers, but I’m not getting paid for them? Should I include an additional disclosure when I post on Facebook about how useful one of our products is? If you receive free products or other perks with the expectation that you’ll promote or discuss the advertiser’s products in your blog, you’re covered. What if the host of a television talk show expresses her opinions about a product – let’s say a videogame – and she was paid for the promotion? A hyperlink like that isn’t likely to be sufficient. If a blogger or other endorser has a relationship with a marketer or a network that sends freebies in the hope of positive reviews, it’s best to let readers know about the free stuff. No, because consumers can easily miss disclosures in the video description. The bank requires that someone witness the endorsement of … Do we have to remove those testimonials? Even if you don’t think it affects your evaluation of the product, what matters is whether knowing that you got the knife for free might affect how your audience views what you say about the knife. My company, XYZ, operates one of the most popular multi-channel networks on YouTube. Would a single disclosure on my home page that “many of the products I discuss on this site are provided to me free by their manufacturers” be enough? The disclosure has the most chance of being clear and prominent if it’s included in the video itself. So it would be much clearer if you say something like, “I’m a paid consultant to the marketers of XYZ” or “I work with XYZ brand”(where XYZ is a brand name). Where in my blog should I disclose that my review is sponsored by a marketer? Indeed, if #ad is mixed in with links or other hashtags at the end, some readers may just skip over all of that stuff. 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