The Federal Trade Commission announced new guidelines covering endorsements and testimonials, addressing for the first time the role of bloggers and online reviewers. The guidelines take the form of revisions to guides governing the FTC Act, which were last updated in 1980. The guides are not laws themselves, but rather interpretations of the existing law intended to aid advertisers and others.
The final revisions to the guides were approved by a 4-0 vote from the Commission.
Per the new guidelines, bloggers and other endorsers are required to disclose any material connections between themselves and the advertised company, such as direct payment or gifts. Failure to properly disclose information can be met with fines, in accordance with procedures set out in the FTC Act.