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Many retired athletes are able to make a lot of money by doing product endorsements. I guess I need to make a disclosure that I’ve gotten paid for a video review that I’m uploading to YouTube. Different types of STCW endorsements allow you to do different … What about a platform like Twitter? Some influencers only tag the brands of their sponsors, some tag brands with which they don’t have relationships, and some do a bit of both. I create sponsored beauty videos on YouTube. Am I liable for that? What should we do? What matters is whether the information would have an effect on the weight readers would give your review. They aren’t paying me or giving me anything else. You just talked about putting “#ad” at the beginning of a social media post. With respect to posting the conference’s badge on your Twitter profile page, a disclosure on a profile page isn’t sufficient because many people in your audience probably won’t see it. If you knew the hotel had paid the blogger hundreds of dollars to say great things about it or that the blogger had stayed there for several days for free, it could affect how much weight you’d give the blogger’s endorsement. Despite inaccurate news reports, there are no “fines” for violations of the FTC Act. I’m a book author and I belong to a group where we agree to post reviews in social media for each other. Getting a “sneak peek” of the game doesn’t even mean that you get to keep the game. Do I have to disclose that I got the product for free every time I mention it in my blog? Whether the Commission may take action would depend on the overall impression, including whether consumers take “likes” to be material in their decision to patronize a business or buy a product.   Other endorsements are required on policies covering certain types of operations. Watch a video, How to File a Complaint, at consumer.ftc.gov/media to learn more. If they talk about their experience on social media, is that something that should be disclosed? It depends on whether you got something else from the company. Here are some elements every program should include: It’s unrealistic to expect you to be aware of every single statement made by a member of your network. Having multiple disclosures during the video would be even better. No. My posts, videos, and tweets will be in Spanish. I’ll review someone else’s book on a book review site or a bookstore site if he or she reviews my book. Is that still an endorsement subject to the FTC’s Endorsement Guides? There are a few practice tests available online, like this one. The blogger is subject to liability for making claims without having a reasonable basis for those claims. Of course, no one should promote a link to your review that bypasses the beginning of the video and skips over the disclosure. Do we still need to disclose which reviews were of free products? 49 0 obj <> endobj We may address them in future FAQs. They simply recommend those products to their readers because they believe in them. There doesn’t have to be a monetary payment. (noun) Section 15 of the Negotiable Instrument Act 1881 defines endorsement. You should tell the participants in your network that if they endorse products they have received through your program, they should make it clear they got them for free. People unfamiliar with a product category (e.g. To get feedback on the food and service, I’m inviting my family and friends to eat for free. Neither is placing it below your review or below the link to the online retailer so readers would have to keep scrolling after they finish reading. “Paid ad” only uses 7 characters. ���Cl��m? I heard that every time I mention a product on my blog, I have to say whether I got it for free or paid for it myself. Disclosures should not be hidden or buried in footnotes, in blocks of text people are not likely to read, or in hyperlinks. H��U�n�0}7��c6l��l?vmZ��!u? I share in my social media posts about products I use. Isn’t the employment relationship something you would want to know before relying on someone else’s endorsement? %PDF-1.5 %���� What does that mean? Yes. Some people might be inclined to leave a positive review in an effort to earn more money for charity. Furthermore, an endorsement may not convey any express or implied representation that would be deceptive if made directly by the advertiser. Does she need to disclose that she works for our company? Your disclosure could be just, “XYZ Resort paid for my trip” or “Thanks to XYZ Resort for the free trip.” It would also be accurate to describe your blog as “sponsored by XYZ Resort.”. Is that true? Knowing that reviewers got the product they reviewed for free would probably affect the weight your customers give to the reviews, even if you didn’t intend for that to happen. Do I have to hire a lawyer to help me write a disclosure? The FTC Act applies across the board. Are we liable if an employee posts a review of one of our products, either on our company website or on a social media site and doesn’t disclose that relationship? Is that true? If the disclosure said, “Sponsored by [name of the game company],” that would be good enough. It would be much clearer to use the words “my company” or “employer’s” in the body of the message. If you’re using endorsements that are a few years old, it’s your obligation to make sure the claims still are accurate. The Reversals rule will become effective June 30, 2021 and the Enforcement rule will be effective January 1, 2021. Second, the disclosure should use a simple-to-read font with a contrasting background that makes it stand out. Of course, no one should promote a link to your review that bypasses the beginning of the video and skips over the disclosure. We realize that some platforms – like Facebook’s “like” buttons – don’t allow you to make a disclosure. [đ,`+?8�I�GAxz [������0 ��1�p| �0�Z�AD2M�d��'�Qބ��[B�Dʻ|��t2�0�l�_a���P�Bg���7!�܆6^���R�n:���I�^����0��)�7���ӽr�PnW�� �uy� �%�'� ���ќ�A(\���X�sNo?T]��mQ���?����E����F��ӌ�d֨E��I�b4oġ��0��ύ�(�#��tw�Xb*b��i�]���:�RŮ�����{����Xwu/�$F)��8�.l�V��,:��c�\[o+�J=�e6 �����oZ��k}ט&:���u��9=�c�������n�Ƽ��6X4z�:��F;�]D9VNJ��q�WEj_K��#���u~~�&A#2�3�ká�C�:1N��jơ����G,�/����'{���jy�d,��. What about a “buy now” button? If that’s too long, there’s “Sponsored” or “Ad.”. Without official endorsement, the project cannot proceed. Many consumers are unlikely to know what it means. A separate CDL endorsement will be required for drivers to pull 2 trailers (doubles) or 3 trailers (triples) at the same time. All of these services say that reviews are not required. It’s more likely that a disclosure at the end of the video will be missed, especially if someone doesn’t watch the whole thing. If a significant portion of her followers don’t know that, disclosures are needed. Probably not. A single disclosure on your home page doesn’t really do it because people visiting your site might read individual reviews or watch individual videos without seeing the disclosure on your home page. How Do I Get the Endorsement? But when you respond via social media, all your followers see your posts and some of them might not have seen your earlier disclosures. Consumers may miss a disclosure at the bottom of a blog or the bottom of a page. If it does, it’s an endorsement. early access doesn’t mean that you got paid. I’m getting paid to do a videogame playthrough and give commentary while I’m playing. FMCSA Guidance; Regulations and Interpretations; Rulemakings Documents; Federal Register Notices; Enforcement. Again, determining that could be tricky, so we recommend disclosure. I tried the product, liked it, and wrote a favorable review. The brochure also addresses how those established consumer protection principles apply in social media and influencer marketing. Therefore, they should disclose that personal relationship. First, according to the Guides, if your website says or implies that the endorser currently uses the product in question, you can use that endorsement only as long as you have good reason to believe the endorser does still use the product. (d) In-State Applicant for Initial License. We can’t figure out now what the “generally expected results” were back then. In addition, the Guides say, if there’s a connection between an endorser and the marketer that consumers would not expect and it would affect how consumers evaluate the endorsement, that connection should be disclosed. Similarly, a disclosure in the lower corner of a video could be too easy for users to overlook. review would be considered an endorsement under the Guides. No one should endorse a product they haven’t used or say things they don’t believe about a product, and an employer certainly shouldn’t encourage employees to engage in such conduct. Can my agency ask our employees to spread the buzz about our clients’ products? Whether there should be any disclosure depends upon whether the “like” or “share” could be viewed as an advertisement for your company. The thinking is something like, "There must be a way to follow the exact letter of the rule, while still obscuring the fact that I'm being paid for this endorsement." Second, if your product is the same as it was when the endorsements were given and the claims are still accurate, you probably can use the old endorsements if the disclosures are consistent with what the generally expected results are now. The manufacturer is paying me to try the game and review it. You also could file complaints with the FTC, your local consumer protection organization, and the Better Business Bureau. The appropriateness or otherwise of a particular form of endorsement depends upon the practice amongst the bankers. Sometimes I’ll do a product review. Depending on the context of the endorsement, it might be clear that the endorser got the product for free and kept it after trying it. NAME OF EMPLOYER (PRINTED) PHONE NUMBER SIGNATURE … If that isn’t clear, then that disclosure wouldn’t be good enough. If I upload a video to YouTube and that video requires a disclosure, can I just put the disclosure in the description that I upload together with the video? When should I say more than that I got a product for free? There doesn’t have to be a monetary payment. The issue is – and always has been – whether the audience understands the reviewer’s relationship to the company whose products are being recommended. Because FMCSA adopted the 2003 and 2005 interim final rules without change, drivers are already complying with the appropriate regulations regarding the hazmat endorsement and background checks. Clearly and conspicuously disclose the generally expected performance in the circumstances shown in the ad. We’re not necessarily saying that “#ad” has to be at the beginning of a post. I've seen some say it at the top and others at the bottom. My Facebook page identifies my employer. It’s always safer to disclose that information. They’re not changing much, because the underlying principles have always been there. However, practices inconsistent with the Guides may result in law enforcement actions alleging violations of the FTC Act. Put a program in place to check periodically whether your members are making those disclosures, and to deal with anyone who isn’t complying. You can’t make claims about a product that would require proof the advertiser doesn’t have. Advertisers shouldn’t encourage endorsements using features that don’t allow for clear and conspicuous disclosures. TL;DR: The Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping, also known as STCW is an internationally recognized set of rules that determines what mariners need to know to perform their jobs safely. Small businesses can comment to the Ombudsman without fear of reprisal. If the advertiser doesn’t have proof that the endorser’s experience represents what people will generally achieve using the product as described in the ad (for example, by just taking a pill daily for two months), then an ad featuring that endorser must make clear to the audience what the generally expected results are. .” will usually be effective. In blogs, there isn’t an issue with a limited number of characters available. There is a good chance that consumers won’t notice and understand the significance of the word “ad” at the end of a hashtag, especially one made up of several words combined like “#coolstyllead.” Disclosures need to be easily noticed and understood. Knowing that you received free travel and accommodations could affect how much weight your readers give to your thoughts about the product, so you should disclose that you have a financial relationship with the company. Another principle in the Guides applies to ads that feature endorsements from people who achieved exceptional, or even above average, results. Does it matter? The enactment was … The association is only hiring me for five hours a week. The question you need to ask is whether knowing about that gift or incentive would affect the weight or credibility your readers give to your recommendation. So, although we aren’t saying it has to be at the beginning, it’s less likely to be effective in the middle or at the end. If the payment for the endorsement isn’t expected by the audience and it would affect the weight the audience gives the endorsement, it should be disclosed. Many people know that she regularly charges advertisers to mention their products in her tweets. In order to maintain tax-exempt status, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations cannot engage in political campaigning.Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) tax exempt status should be ever vigilant about this prohibition -- a violation could result in severe consequences. In fact, even if you tell your customers that you aren’t going to pay them but that they might be featured in your advertising, that opportunity might be seen as having a value, so the fact that they knew this when they gave the review should be disclosed (e.g., “Customers were told in advance they might be featured in an ad.”). Agencies asking their employees to spread the word must instruct those employees about their responsibilities to disclose their relationship to the product they are endorsing, e.g., “My employer is paid to promote [name of product],” or simply “Advertisement,” or when space is an issue, “Ad” or “#ad.”. close to the claims to which they relate. So they won’t hear an audio-only disclosure. No. What if I upload a video to YouTube that shows me reviewing several products? Because the chance to appear in a TV ad could sway what someone says, that incentive should be disclosed. Also, that disclosure might not be sufficient if, in addition to receiving a free product, the endorser was paid. The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. of the page, outside of the blog, might also be overlooked by consumers. They shouldn’t have to hunt for it. (You might want to have a solid background behind the disclosure.) When in the review should I make the disclosure? If you’re offering them something of value in return for these reviews, tell them in advance that they should disclose what they received from you. One of our company’s paid spokespersons is an expert who appears on news and talk shows promoting our product, sometimes along with other products she recommends based on her expertise. The FTC isn’t mandating the specific wording of disclosures. The disclosure should be easy to notice and read in the time that your followers have to look at the image. A key consideration is how users view the screen when using a particular platform. . My company XYX wants to tell our employees what to disclose in social media. An endorsement is a clause in or amendment to an insurance policy allowing for change of coverage. Law enforcement actions can result in orders requiring the defendants in the case to give up money they received from their violations and to abide by various requirements in the future. That said, it’s unlikely that the activity of a rogue blogger would be the basis of a law enforcement action if your company has a reasonable training, monitoring, and compliance program in place. But even if a disclosure like that is clearer, no disclosure is effective if consumers don’t see it and read it. What about saying, “XYZ Company asked me to try their product”? However, it’s okay to invite people to post reviews of your business after they’ve actually used your products or services. Simply put, an on-air testimonial endorsement of a product or service, whether in an advertisement, in program content, or in a talk show, requires … Although the advertiser does not make any claims about the lotion’s ability to cure skin conditions and the blogger does not ask the advertiser whether there is substantiation for the claim, she writes that the lotion cures eczema. The blogger should, therefore, let his readers know about that relationship. The Guides are intended to give insight into what the FTC thinks about various marketing activities involving endorsements and how Section 5 might apply to those activities. We tell them to be honest, whether it’s positive or negative. program, and meet all requirements regarding assessments and qualifying scores as specified by State Board of Education rules or policy. It’s also possible that the reviewers may wonder whether your company would stop sending them products if they wrote several negative reviews – despite your assurances that you only want their honest opinions – and that could affect their reviews. Can that be solved by placing a badge for the conference in my Twitter profile? Also, the U.K. and many other countries have similar laws and policies, so you’ll want to check those, too. h�b```"S������ea�X �~�Ķ�5Cځi��g��6�e�s�n`��}g�[�Ϣ�fw�8L�%��x�, �Y���%2e�#����a������`�I20޶ �"{ -���Z�gx` o�A� The FTC Act covers only endorsements made on behalf of a sponsoring advertiser. No. The disclosures we are talking about are brief and there is no space-related reason to use a hyperlink to provide access to them. If I write an article sharing my thoughts about the resort destination, how should I disclose the free travel? It’s an endorsement if the blogger is explicitly or implicitly expressing his or her views about the sports car (e.g., “I want this car”). Indeed, if #ad is mixed in with links or other hashtags at the end, some readers may just skip over all of that stuff. FARM ENDORSEMENT APPLICATION CONDITIONS: A Farm Endorsement on a regular Class C Driver License allows operation of vehicles which are: INSTRUCTIONS: I understand it is against the law to make any false certification regarding an application for a Farm Endorsement. Some services require individuals who want discount codes to provide information allowing sellers to read their other reviews before deciding which reviewers to provide with discount codes. What About Affiliate or Network Marketing? If you get free meals, you should let your readers know so they can factor that in when they read your reviews. Agencies asking their employees to spread the word must instruct those employees about their responsibilities to disclose their relationship to the product they are endorsing, , “My employer is paid to promote [name of product],” or simply “Advertisement,” or when space is an issue, “Ad” or “#ad.”, The Guides offer more than 35 examples involving various endorsement scenarios. And if it is something so small that it would not affect the weight readers would give your review, you may not need to disclose anything. Can I mention our products to people in my social networks? So whether you got $100 or $1,000 you could simply say you were “paid.” (That wouldn’t be good enough, however, if you’re an employee or co-owner.) The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. Also, if you learn that an employee has posted a review on the company’s website or a social media site without adequately disclosing his or her relationship to the company, you should remind them of your company policy and ask them to remove that review or adequately disclose that they’re an employee. For example, if an app developer gave you their 99-cent app for free for you to review it, that information might not have much effect on the weight that readers give to your review. It sounds like you have a connection that might materially affect the weight or credibility of your endorsements (that is, your reviews), since bad reviews of each others’ books could jeopardize the arrangement. Many people enjoy sharing their fondness for a particular product or service with their social networks. The signature on a check, contract, instrument, or other document endorsing it. This set of rules applies to primary, general, and special elections. 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