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How You Can Benefit from Francine’s Guidance with the FTC 

The FTC, the federal consumer watchdog agency, is on the lookout for companies and individuals who use false, misleading, and deceptive trade practices in advertising to consumers. And, THEY MEAN BUSINESS!

If you use testimonials and/or endorsements in your blogs, on your web site, or in your social media profiles, the FTC Rules apply to YOU.

3 Key Concerns When It Comes to FTC Regulations

The Federal Trade Commission has been adopting new guidelines for ecommerce businesses as more companies establish an Internet presence.  If you are one of those people who think there are no regulations when it comes to certain online advertising strategies, it is important to be aware of three key concerns when it comes to advertising law and the FTC.

  • Advertising and Marketing on the Internet

Under this guide by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the laws governing advertising and marketing on the Internet are described in detail.  The FTC has prepared this guide in an effort to protect businesses and consumers and maintain the integrity of Internet advertising.  The FTC emphasizes that any rules and regulations that apply to advertising also apply to marketing online.

The guide is quite extensive and outlines everything from advertising protocol, consumer privacy protection, promotion of products and services in specific industries, business opportunities, multi-level marketing, free products, negative option offers, 900 numbers, telemarketing, warranties and guarantees, and much more.  This is why it is important for you to become aware of FTC regulations in this area prior to business formation. For more information on FTC rules on advertising and marketing on the Internet, see http://tinyurl.com/7kzoozh

More and more entrepreneurs are using email blasts and  contests and sweepstakes to advertise their products and services. Contests and Sweepstakes are governed by each individual state, so before you think about putting together a contest or sweepstakes, KNOW THE LAW!  For more information click Can Spam Act.

  • Dot Com Disclosures

Dot Com Disclosures by the FTC provides enforcement of consumer protection laws to ensure that products and services are accurately represented in online advertising and that the consumer is getting the most value for the money. Although the FTC emphasizes that the same advertising laws apply to electronic commerce, the FTC has been required to add to these laws as new technology develops.
Some of the revisions include additions to “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” that apply to Internet advertising, disclosure placement in advertising, and rules that govern the words “writing,” “printed,” and “direct mail” applied to electronic technology. For more information click dot com disclosures.

  • Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

This law was recently adopted by the FTC in the latter part of 2009 and outlines how Ecommerce business owners can use testimonials and endorsement for advertising.  There are numerous laws that surround these new regulations and include laws such as advertisements that feature a consumer testimonial with regard to product results.  Under the new regulations, Internet marketers are required to clearly explain the results that consumers can expect in general.  Online advertisers must also be ready to prove that the testimonial originated from the source disclosed in the advertisement claims.

There is a host of other rules and regulations under this new law and if you are unfamiliar with them, it is wise to consult with Francine before you consider using any of the above mentioned marketing strategies.

In addition to some of the issues we discussed here, the FTC will be likely to continue the establishment of new laws as Ecommerce continues to grow.  An Ecommerce attorney can help you to stay on top of the newest developments in advertising law which will allows you to grow a healthy online business without having to worry about being in compliance with the law.

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