FTC Proposes Updates to Endorsement Guides and Requests Public Comment
Posted in Legal Bites
FTC Proposes Updates to Endorsement Guides and Requests Public Comment

On May 19, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it was considering changes to tighten its guidelines for advertisers against posting fake positive reviews or manipulating reviews by suppressing bad ones. The agency also warned social media platforms about inadequate disclosure tools. The FTC is seeking public comment on the proposed updates to its Endorsement Guides

The proposed updates include:

  • Revising the definition of “endorsements” to clarify that “marketing” and “promotional” messages can be endorsements. When a social media user tags a brand in a post, it generally communicates that the poster uses or likes the brand, so, the revised definition would also indicate that tags in social media posts can be endorsements;
  • Clarifying that fake reviews are covered under the Enforcement Guides and adding a new principle that in procuring, suppressing, boosting, organizing, or editing consumer reviews, advertisers should not distort or misrepresent what consumers think of their products; and
  • Providing additional guidance on consumer endorsements.

The agency’s press release states that the proposed updates “reflect the new ways that advertisers now reach consumers to promote products and services, including through social media.” Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter prepared remarks in support of the updates and stated: “Online commerce devolves into a game of roulette if we can’t trust reviews or make informed decisions about which endorsements to believe.”

Tags: FTC


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