Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The end of endorsements like Jared's from Subway?

The Consumerist reports that "Subway spokesman and occasional thin guy Jared Fogle may soon be out of work thanks to a new FTC rule banning commercial testimonials that warn "results not typical" or
"individual results may vary."

It says "Under the new rule, marketers using, say, body builders to advertise weight loss pills are also going to have to show an average "lardass" whose results might be more typical. "

As one blogger wrote, you can imagine how attractive it would be to tout the benefits of a diet pill that has an average weight loss of 8lbs. Yeah. Not.

But the rule has implications for any company using social media, and will likely throw cold water on those marketers turning to social media to stretch their budgets.

(Can't you hear Legal screaming? "We'll all be ruined.")

More on this topic below from FierceCIO.com which reports:

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is getting tough on online viral marketing using blogs and other social networking sites. The proposed rules would make bloggers legally liable if they make untrue statements about products or services. Companies would face sanctions, too, if they use blogs and social networking sites to make untrue claims.

Update Wed April 8: You can get more info from MarketingRenaissance or from the Federal Register announcement in PDF format here.



Dave J. said...

In my read of the proposed rules, bloggers being compensated to review products would fall under the rules, but unaffiliated bloggers would not.

segrant said...

How many writers do you think are somehow compensated to review products, as opposed to places actually publishing articles as "sponsored content?"

And for that matter, are films required to divulge who pays them for product placement?