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FTC Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising:

http://ftc.gov/os/2009/10/09 1005endorsementgu idesfnnotice.pdf

  The FTC's Revised Endorsement Guides: What People are Asking:

http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus 71-ftcs-revised-endorsement-guideswhat-people-are-asking

  Dot Com Disclosures: Information About Online Advertising:

http://business.ftc.gov/sites/default/file s/pdf/bus41-dot-com-disclosures-information-about-online-advertising.pdf

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As you may know, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has strict guidelines that relate to affiliates who offer reviews, rankings, endorsements and testimonials.  To quote a small section of their Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising:

255.0 Purpose and definitions.

(a) The Guides in this part represent administrative interpretations of laws enforced by the Federal Trade Commission for the guidance of the public in conducting its affairs in conformity with legal requirements.

 

The key words here are “administrative interpretations” meaning that the administration of the FTC interprets the law one way however you may interpret it another.  Parts are “vague, ambiguous and subject to interpretation.”  That quoted phrase cost me over $10,000 and came out of the mouth of a City of Chicago attorney in a case that was brought before the 7th Circuit Federal Court here in Chicago when I filed suit against the City of Chicago.  I was one of the plaintiffs.

The fact is that everyone has an interpretation of something.  When a judge makes a ruling, it’s an interpretation of the law.  When an appeals court overturns the decision (interpretation) of a lower court, they offer an interpretation.  When the Supreme Court overturns a decision of a lower court, they to are providing an interpretation of the law.  In fact, when the Supreme Court makes a decision many judges serving on the court will provide what is called an opinion.  Here we go, it’s another interpretation put to writing in the form of an opinion.

Fact is, many decisions made in the courts are later overturned - even those decisions made by the Supreme Court.  The last 100 years of decisions shows the truth of the matter.

Also, in a recent decision of the Supreme Court, a corporation is considered for all intent and purposes, to be treated as a “person.”  This might pose a dilemma for the FTC in that as a person, the FTC may be violating other rights of the individual.

At this point I must include a disclaimer because I’m sure that there is going to be someone out there that will make the false claim that I am practicing law.  So, here is the disclaimer:

I am not a lawyer, do not practice law, and do not recommend any legal advice.  The aforementioned is only an opinion and perhaps an interpretation of what one reads in the documents provided by the FTC.  Your opinion may be different.

As an American you must judge for yourself the validity of any assertion made by anyone including, but not limited to, a person, corporation, or the various levels of government and any agencies contained within.  It is your right to question and seek answers and it is the responsibility of government to provide the information.  The latter statement is in part one of the reasons the Freedom of Information Act was created.

Finally, you can voice your opinion by email:

Since the FTC issued the revised Guides, advertisers, ad agencies, bloggers, and others have sent questions to endorsements@ftc.gov.  This information is found on their web site.

For information purposes, here is the administrative structure of the FTC.  Note that it is maintained by the FTC and not connected with us in any way.  We merely provide the information as a public service.

Finally as a subhead on their web site, it is written that they “Protecting America’s Consumers.”  Some questions for the FTC. 

Where were you when the interest rates started to skyrocket?

Where were you when predatory lending was happening?

Where were you when the Savings and Loan Scandal happened?  Why was nobody prosecuted that was in charge such as President Bush’s brother out in Florida?

Where were your interests lying when the banks got bailed out under the Bush administration and later the Obama administration?  Surely if the FTC was going to protect America’s consumers, someone should have come forth to try to stop that nonsense.

Where were you when inferior products were imported into this country and then sold at an outrageous price?

Where where you protecting the American consumer when the FDA allowed the approval of drugs whose side affects are potentially worse than the symptom they are addressing?

Where were you when micro transmission towers were allowed to be built without community approval of the construction?

These are just some of the things the FTC should answer because it seems that their bloated budget does not go after things related to the medical, communication and banking industry where consumers really need someone in their corner to work and protect them.  On the other hand, the FTC now wants to go after the “little guys” who are honestly trying to do what’s right and make a few dollars in the process.  It is the basis of capitalism, ladies and gentlemen, that has helped to build this country and made it a world leader.  It’s precipice is the “Ma and Pa” type businesses that built this country.  (Note:  even the founder of Wal-Mart started working in another Ma and Pa type business.)

Businesses as well as people, need less intrusion into their lives by government or any one of its agencies!

All this is an opinion that needed to be expressed somewhere if for no other reason than to make people aware of what is going on in this country.

We do make recommendations on this web site not because we make money off of the recommendation, although we sometimes become affiliated with a company whose product meets our high standards, but because we offer experience with a particular product or solution to a problem that many people might have when they first start learning something.

 

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