The Revised FTC Guidelines: What They Mean to You

by Alexis Rodrigo

in Internet Marketing

Some of my clients have been asking me about the revised FTC Guidelines, wondering how these will affect their sales pages and online marketing efforts.

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I’m not a lawyer but from everything I’ve read so far, this is what I understand:

  • Anybody endorsing or reviewing a product should disclose if he/she has a material connection (e.g., paid affiliate) with the product’s vendor.
  • Testimonials about specific results should demonstrate typical results from using a product/service, or say clearly the conditions in which those results were achieved.

There are plenty of other details in the guidelines, which I won’t get into in this post. And as I said, I’m not a lawyer, so please don’t consider my post as legal advice.

Rather, consider this post as a starting point. What I’d really like to do is point you to some very helpful sites that will help you understand the new guidelines and their implications.

Where to Learn More

Here are a few places I’ve been reading about the revised FTC regulations:

* The FTC’s announcement of its revised guides here:

* Lynn Terry’s series of posts, starting with this one:

* Jim Edwards’ interview of an FTC Director here:

* Blog posts & free special reports by Internet lawyer, Mike Young, such as this one:

Solution in a Box?

I purchased Mike Young’s legal forms generator and use his affiliate disclosure template on my sites, which you can see on all the sites I own, as well as my Emails. If you’re interested, here are my affiliate links ;-)

Legal Forms Generator, including Compensation Disclosure Policy - Easily generate legal forms and disclosures for your sites, including privacy, health disclosure, affiliate disclosure, and many more.

Kill Your Testimonials: How to Create Success Stories That Help You Sell And Won’t Get You Sued – Discover how to tell your customers’ success stories effectively while staying within the FTC Guidelines

That said, buying a product like the ones listed above can result in having a false confidence that we’ve done everything we can to comply with the FTC’s guidelines.

Don’t fall into this trap. Educate yourself, but choose your teachers wisely. Lots of free webinars and special reports are available right now, but they’re usually tied to some product or service. Some will be helpful; others will feed on your fear to get you to buy something expensive and unnecessary.

Here’s one free webinar I’ll be joining today:

Easy FTC Compliance Seminar – What You Need to Do Step by Step

The Right Attitude

In general, most Internet marketers have had negative attitudes towards the FTC’s new guidelines. I’ve heard of some very successful Internet marketers shutting off certain products because they don’t think they can continue marketing them within the new guidelines.

I feel this attitude is unnecessarily negative. Granted, it’s a challenge to come up with compelling copy and present testimonials within the new guidelines. For now. Because we’re still used to the old way of doing things. But after a few months, I’m sure we would have adapted and the new way will be second nature.

Instead, I propose that we welcome the new guidelines as a way of protecting our customers from misleading marketing efforts and unscrupulous marketers. The new guidelines also keep us from getting carried away when compiling social proof for our products and services.

Whenever you’re in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of caution. And if you’re really worried, then consult a lawyer.

Where Do You Stand?

I hope this has been helpful. If you have more questions or suggestions for other useful resources on this topic, please share them in the comments section below.

Thank you!

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Creative Commons License photo credit: nxb

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