To: AAF Members
From: Clark Rector, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs
Re: Proposed Changes to FTC Endorsements and Testimonials Guide

The American Advertising Federation and American Association of Advertising Agencies recently filed joint comments to the Federal Trade Commission arguing against proposed wholesale changes to the agency’s existing Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

The new guides would virtually do away with the commonly used and understood “results not typical” disclaimer often used by individual endorsers of a product and would mandate a burdensome mandatory disclaimer of generally expected results.

The proposed guidelines would also place an unfair burden on bloggers and other viral marketers by mandating unreasonable disclosure of material connections. For example, a blogger reviewing a video game system could be subject to liability by not disclosing that he or she was sent a complimentary copy to review.

The FTC bases the proposed changes on two flawed and limited studies. Our comments ask the commission to slow the process and ensure that any future changes be better substantiated by research.

A copy of our letter can be found here: http://www.aaf.org/images/public/aaf_content/government/pdf/ftccomments09.pdf