Do you have a blog, YouTube channel or podcast in which you endorse or recommend products or services? What about just talking about them?
Did you know the FTC regulates this stuff?
If you blog, podcast or do videos, especially if you review products or services, you should know that there are some important regulations that govern how you go about things.
Essentially, the regulations are the work of the Federal Trade Commission, and full under the heading “Truth In Advertising”.
No Deceptive Advertising
Basically, the rules prohibit any deceptive advertising. So, it’s improper to make any statement (or omission) that would mislead a “significant minority” of consumers.
This means, in part, that you must make full disclosure of whether you’ve been paid or received the product you’re reviewing, endorsing, or whatever for free. The audience has a right to know, so they can make fully informed decisions about the products and services they buy.
Fundamentally, these are the same regulations that apply to all media, old, new and emerging.
Fortunately, the FTC provides help
The FTC has put out a set of “Endorsement Guides”
And they’ve got a terrific Frequently Asked Questions page
The answers do a pretty good job of explaining why, when, and how disclosures should be made. Worth reading if you’re putting out any kind of media.
Get my e-book
And, if you’re curious about other laws, rules and regulations that apply to new media, check out my e-book The Podcast, Blog & New Media Producer’s Survival Guide