FTC, 16 C.F.R. Part 255

The Federal Trade Commission Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials
Changes Affect Testimonial Advertisements, Bloggers, Celebrity Endorsements

With many new media (Facebook, MySpace, blogs, twitter, content aggregation sites, etc) outlets operating in unregulated wild frontier mode, the FTC has seen fit to try to restore some sense of order. FTC 16 CFR Part 255 says that effective December 1, those that review products must disclose any connection with advertisers.

Here is the link to the Official web site…

FTC, 16 C.F.R. Part 255

The Federal Trade Commission today announced that it has approved final revisions to the guidance it gives to advertisers on how to keep their endorsement and testimonial ads in line with the FTC Act.

The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service. Likewise, if a company refers in an advertisement to the findings of a research organization that conducted research sponsored by the company, the advertisement must disclose the connection between the advertiser and the research organization. And a paid endorsement – like any other advertisement – is deceptive if it makes false or misleading claims.

How does that affect SurvivalRing, or any of my associated websites?

At this point, prior to the December 1st, 2009 date, all product reviews at my website domain of “SurvivalRing.org” will be created by software that matches keywords from Amazon to products that Amazon sells.

In the future, on all these same websites, as I create my own product reviews on items that I personally endorse, each review will conclude with an FTC, 16 C.F.R. Part 255 statement of any material connections to the seller of the product or service.

My own products of all the SurvivalCD series are excempt from this ruling, but I do stress that I do not embellish any descriptions of my files, and that ALL testimonials of my products are from actual people, and not fabricated in any way, shape, or form.

If you have questions or comments, please use the CONTACT me link to send me a message.

Updated: January 4, 2010 — 10:48 pm

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 24th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural southern Wyoming, just below the continental divide (long story, that...). Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, many social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises.

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