Legal Advice on Using The New Media: New rules give guidance on how to avoid liability when using social media and other new technologies.


The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently provided guidance on what’s legal and what’s not when it comes to new media such as blogs, online discussion boards, and social networking Web sites. The advice comes in the form of final revisions to the FTC’s “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” (the Guides). These revisions give hypothetical examples that are very useful.

Standards to Consider when Using Endorsements

Like many nonprofits, you may sometimes endorse the products and services of third-party companies, both to generate revenue for your organization and to provide benefits—tailored products and services, discounted prices, and the like—to your organization’s members and supporters. These provisions are often referred to as affinity relationships. Perhaps you also occasionally have other people endorse your organization’s programs and services. In both cases, failing to comply with FTC standards for these marketing tools can subject you to liability.

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