FTC Consumer Protection Alert: New Advertising Guidelines Effective December 1, 2009: "Results May Vary"... and the FTC Wants You To Change Your Disclosure


As we reported in our previous Alert on this issue, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has revised its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising for the first time since 1980.1 These revisions affect the manner in which advertisers may use endorsements and testimonials to promote consumer products or services in advertisements. Most notably, for ads using testimonials featuring “non-typical” product or service results, the FTC will require clear disclosure of what consumers should generally expect. A “results may vary” disclaimer is no longer sufficient for compliance. The most significant effect is on the use of endorsements and marketing campaigns disseminated through social media—blogging, buzzing, Facebook, Twitter, and others. Failure to comply with these new guidelines may result in potential enforcement actions and other penalties.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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