The Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (Guides) issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) address the application of Section 5 of the FTC Act (Unfair and Deceptive Acts or Practices) to the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. The Guides provide the basis for voluntary compliance with the law by advertisers and endorsers.
The revised Guides reflect FTC case law and clearly state that both advertisers and endorsers may be liable for false or unsubstantiated claims made in an endorsement – or for failure to disclose material connections between the advertiser and endorsers. The revised Guides also make it clear that celebrities have a duty to disclose their relationships with advertisers when making endorsements outside the context of traditional ads, such as on talk shows or in social media.
Practices inconsistent with the Endorsement Guides may result in corrective action by the FTC under Section 5 if the FTC has reason to believe that the practices fall within the scope of conduct declared unlawful by the statute.
For additional resources on the topic of FTC Endorsement Guides visit the following pages: