Earlier this month, the FTC made a ruling that basically says, if you endorse something in your blog, and you don't disclose how you benefit from the endorsement, you could be fined. And the fine could be up to $11,000! If you don't believe me, here is an ABC story on it. http://www.abcnews.go.com/Business/mommy-bloggers-held-liable-product-reviews/story?id=8764885
So does that mean all Internet testimonials are now the subject of scrutiny? Celebrity endorsements have always been seen as paid for, but they don't have to disclose that in their ads. Does the Internet provide a higher level of trust than other advertising mediums? Or is it that Mr or Mrs Normal Public has become more believable than F. Amos Person endorsements?
Whether the ruling stands or not, if you are endorsing anything or anyone on the Internet, you might consider a statement describing your relationship with it or them just to avoid any problems. For the record - I have nothing to do with ABC, nor with their writers, nor have I received any compensation or reward or even a thank you for linking to the article above. None of my relatives works for ABC, and I thought ABC was just the first three letters of the alphabet. Oh yeah, it's the first three notes, in that song, too! I don't even know who wrote that either and I have no relationship with them, get no royalties, and I am telling my kids to stop singing it!
Whew, that was close.
Heath Coker, Associate Broker
Robert Paul Properties
www.CapeGroup.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
508-274-5613 Licensed in MA
Its a beautiful day on Cape Cod!
@CapeGroup Skype: heath.coker