If you thought the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was going to ease up on enforcement measures, think again. Looking to update its existing set of endorsement guidelines for businesses, the FTC is proposing to increase its enforcement of fake reviews and other forms of misleading advertising. According to this recent article from Forbes …
“The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is considering moves to tighten up its guidelines on fake reviews and misleading marketing.
The FTC Endorsement Guides give guidance to businesses on ensuring that advertising using endorsements or testimonials is truthful, and that advertisers need to be upfront with consumers and clearly disclose unexpected material connections between endorsers and a seller of an advertised product. They warn that advertisers who lie to consumers via endorsements or testimonials may violate the FTC Act.
However, the guides haven’t been changed since 2009, leaving them ill-equipped to deal with the increasing use of use of social media and product reviews as marketing tools.
“We’re updating the guides to crack down on fake reviews and other forms of misleading marketing, and we’re warning marketers on stealth advertising that targets kids.” says Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
“Whether it’s fake reviews or influencers who hide that they were paid to post, this kind of deception results in people paying more money for bad products and services, and it hurts honest competitors.”
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