As e-commerce continues to grow, so do deceptive advertising methods, including false reviews, unreported paid receipts, and other practices that are contrary to federal law.
And now, the FTC wants to step up its action in that regard, and the Commission sent notifications this week to more than 700 companies, including Facebook, Amazon and LinkedIn, about their use or allowing fake reviews and ads to promote products online.
As announced by the FTC:
“The rise of social media has blurred the line between authentic content and advertising, leading to an explosion of deceptive ads across the market. Fake online reviews and other misleading recommendations often advertise products around the world online. Consequently, the FTC now uses its body to commit crimes to remind advertisers of the law and deter it from violating it. ”
The FTC says it sends effective information to these organizations by effectively notifying them of any need to address these issues or risk fines of up to $ 43,792 per offense.
“The criminal notice allows the agency to seek civil penalties against a company that engages in conduct that it knows has been found to be illegal in a previous FTC administrative order other than a consent order.”
So now that the FTC has sent these warnings, it has a legal basis for applying penalties in future cases, if that is discovered.
What the specifics are in each case is not clear, but the FTC explains that the range of violations highlighted in its notices includes:
- False request for third party approval
- Misrepresenting whether the endorser is an actual, current or recent user
- Use of endorsement to file deceptive performance claims
- Failure to detect an unexpected material connection with the endorser
- Falsely representing that the endorser’s experience is a typical or ordinary consumer experience.
These violations cover a wide range of practices, which are especially applicable in social media marketing, and since the influence in promotions is also increasing, it is worth reading the latest regulations to make sure you do not violate the rules of the FTC Rules – a.
The FTC has also developed a review guide for its approval rules to provide additional assistance in this regard.
It will be interesting to see if this new pressure from the FTC leads to more concrete legal action in this area and what it will mean for the marketing sector. And again, with the increasing use of influencer marketing, you can imagine that many will fail to meet certain criteria, leading to further concerns.
Therefore, it is worth reading the latest rules.
The FTC has published a complete list of 700 companies to which it has sent notifications here.
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