FTC officials were very clear with PRNewser when we spoke with them after the agency released its “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” this past October.
Despite rumors of $11,000 fines for failure to disclose a paid relationship between a blogger/spokesperson/etc. and a brand, the agency reiterated to us then, and again this week:
They are not rules or regulations, so there are no monetary penalties, or penalties of any kind, associated with them. The purpose of the Guides is to help advertisers and endorsers understand federal advertising law and avoid violating it.
So, has anyone not followed the guidelines and therefore violated federal law? Not yet, according to the FTC. “There have not been any cases,” FTC Public Affairs Specialist Elizabeth Lordan told PRNewser this week.