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Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Summary of the FTC’s Marketing Guidelines

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has created laws that govern a variety of advertising categories. These guidelines were developed to ensure that advertisements remain truthful and evidence-based, not unfair or deceptive. 

“Additional rules may apply to certain products based on special circumstances,” said criminal defense lawyer, William Mauzy. “FTC guidelines also apply to variety of marketing styles. Whether your advertising campaign is being deployed online or by telephone, you will need to familiarize yourself with the specific FTC rules governing your marketing platform.” 


Some of these circumstances are listed below:


Endorsements

If your marketing strategy relies on any endorsements, make sure that they comply with the Guide Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. The FTC has created this document to regulate the use of endorsements in the U.S.

Made in the USA

Is that fact that your product is manufactured in the United States part of your marketing push? While it is a popular statement, especially in the wake of so many jobs being outsourced, the FTC highly regulates the use of this status. Consult the FTC’s “Made in USA” policy to make sure your that manufacturing meets the requirements to use this tagline.

Children

Products marketed directly to children – or products that are marketed to parents for use with their children – are subject to strict enforcement of advertising truth standards. The FTC has special rules for foods and beverages marketed to children and about maintaining children's privacy online.

Online Marketing and Advertisements

"The Internet is the fastest growing platform for marketing campaigns and advertisements. It is important to remember that all of the same FTC guidelines apply to online marketing and advertisements, especially as it relates to children’s privacy. The Children’s Online Privacy Act has been created to guarantee protection and should be consulted before taking your campaign online," said John Gustad, a social security lawyer in Spokane, WA.

Telemarketing

"Over time, telemarketing has become a highly regulated industry," said attorney, Mark Herman. "In an effort to combat fraudulent products and services and reduce harassing phone calls, the FTC created the National Do Not Call Registry. If you plan on starting a telemarketing campaign, even if it is being run by an automated system, make sure that you are highly familiarized with the nuances of this Act. A business could face severe penalties for violating it."

Environmental Marketing

The idea of “sustainable” or “green” products has become popular in recent years, but if you make these statements about your product, you must provide actual scientific evidence to verify your claims. The FTC has created the Green Guide to help clarify the requirements to claim environmentally status about your product or services.