This is a guest post written by Michelle Cohen, Partner with Thompson Hine. She is a CIPP, Certified Information Privacy Professional (by the International Association of Privacy Professionals) and you can read her bio here. She has put together a solid overview of the new FTC blogging guidelines.
On October 5, 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (”FTC”) adopted updated “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” the first revisions to the Guides since 1980. These revised Guides will become effective on December 1, 2009. Importantly, the updated Guides address endorsements and testimonials in “new media,” such as blogging. Bloggers who fail to disclose that they received free products, goods or services from an advertiser may be subject to substantial penalties, although the FTC has indicated it will continue to focus its law enforcement activities on advertisers. We’ve provided here a short summary of certain key points in the FTC’s revised Guides; for the full text of the FTC’s action.