The new FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials and how they affect bloggers and marketers has been a brewing story since late Summer 09′. Frankly, after doing an interview on the subject in August my “BS antenna” have been up at attention awaiting the Marketplace Molesters to use this to drain money out of your pockets with promises of protection.

With the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) new guidelines going into effect on December 1, 2009, scam artists, Internet marketers and even some attorneys are trying to sell bloggers, affiliate marketers and website owners like you products and services that could actually get you into MORE trouble with the FTC.

Whether these people are honestly trying to help, or knowingly are misleading you and millions of others in the hope of short-term profits — it doesn’t really matter. The facts of the FTC guides are what matter.

Although I’m not an attorney (nor do I play one on TV or sing like one in the shower) this thorough overview of the new FTC Guidelines on endorsements and testimonials will help you understand what your new responsibilities and potential liabilities are.

The marketing approaches you use, the products you produce or promote, and your own business structure are unique.  You need to be armed with the facts so you can make the best decision and take the action that’s right for you.

The new FTC guidelines on endorsements & testimonials: the facts you need to know

Watch this video to learn what’s new, what some of your new responsibilities are, and what you can do to actually use the new FTC guidelines to gain an advantage over your competitors.

Straight from the horses mouth . . .

As I shared in the video above, there are several things you can do to protect yourself short of hiring an attorney to draft custom disclaimers for you to use on your site and documents to use with your affiliates. The best thing beign reviewing the new FTC guidelines yourself.

Download the new FTC guide on endorsements and testimonials here

Videos from the FTC that answer some of the top questions online marketers have

Why new guidelines now?

What do the new FTC guidelines mean for bloggers?

How do bloggers follow the new FTC guidelines on endorsements & testimonials?

Does the FTC intend to chase down & sue bloggers?

Additional legal reviews on the new FTC guidelines for your reference

What’s your take?

  • So what do you think about the new FTC guidelines on endorsements and testimonials? Fair? Unfair?
  • Is this just another instance of the government sticking it’s nose into the private sector trying to exert control over New Media?
  • Are most consumers adults capable of making their own decisions? Or do most people REALLY need to be treated like children being warned about every little thing?
  • What are you going to do to protect yourself against the finger-pointing of consumers and the wrath of the FTC?

Talk back and share your psychological graffiti in a comment below. ;-)

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