This morning a friend and business associate of mine sent me an e-mail asking me “have I heard about this”. There was a link attached and it took me to a blog that contained information that many internet marketers really need to know about. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there are some new guidelines that will be going into affect beginning December 1st that will shake up how advertisers use testimonials, blogs, and celebrity endorsements for the advertising efforts. I did get a chance to do a little research on the FTC site and I read the blog about the switch, and it appears that the new guidelines will make it tough for most advertisers to use any kind of testimonials (or anything else) in their marketing efforts without doing statistical research. Research will be cost intensive for the small business marketer thus many ads will have to pull the testimonials. I am really interested to see how the FTC will enforce the new guidelines and there were already comments on the blog I read of ways to get around the new guidelines.
I would really like to hear some of your thoughts out there in blog land, so be sure to read the new FTC guidelines, and the blog and come to your own conclusions.
B. N. S.
Personally, I understand the rule and then don't. The truth is that it really hurts small businesses that have great products. Basically what this is doing is making those who have products and services that have tremendous value to their customers (i.e. the customers have had great success since using the product/service) suffer by going through the hoops of providing additional data that needs to be accumulated by alot of time consuming and unnecessary work. To provide success data for a testimonial opposed to a customer just writing in and sharing their story is a huge hassle and benefits no one.
Truth be told those who are breaking the rules are in the small minority and now everyone has to suffer.
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