Ad Watchers: Endorsements & Testimonials - So What’s New?

April 3, 2024

AdWatchers: Endorsements & Testimonials

In this episode of Ad Watchers, hosts Eric Unis and Annie Ugurlayan, attorneys at the National Advertising Division (NAD), revisit the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Endorsement Guides. Given the recent updates to the Guides, the Ad Watchers have refreshed the tips and best practices from Season One for ensuring ad law compliance when using influencers, endorsements, and testimonials in your advertising campaigns. 

This episode presents recent cases before NAD demonstrating the issues outlined in the FTC’s Endorsement Guides and for each case, outlines the best practices you should follow to stay off the radar of the FTC and NAD.

 

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Related Resources

FTC Warns Influencers: Disclose Material Connections

Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

The Problems with Endorsements

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Some key takeaways from this episode:

  1. (1:28) Endorsements and Testimonials Integrity: Endorsements and testimonials are essential elements of advertising but must authentically represent the genuine opinions of the endorser. Any material connections between the endorser and the advertiser must be transparently disclosed, ensuring honesty and integrity in consumer communication.

  2. (7:51) Combating Fake Reviews and Influencer Misuse: Addressing the prevalence of fake reviews and the misuse of influencers, including animal influencers, is crucial in maintaining the credibility and trustworthiness of advertising channels. Regulators and industry stakeholders must collaborate to establish stringent measures to mitigate these issues and uphold the integrity of consumer information.

  3. (14:11) Transparency in Review Sites: Review sites play a significant role in consumer decision-making, and it's essential that they transparently disclose whether rankings and reviews are advertisements or independent assessments. Such transparency empowers consumers to make informed choices while safeguarding against misleading advertising practices.

  4. (19:00) Clear and Conspicuous Disclosures: Transparency is key in consumer communication, necessitating clear and conspicuous disclosures visible across all devices. These disclosures should be positioned in the same location and format as the endorsement, ensuring consumers readily recognize affiliations between the endorser and the advertiser.

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