FTC Releases Updated Advertising Guidelines for Review and Endorsements
On June 29th, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released the latest information about updated federal advertising guidelines regarding reviews and endorsements. The finalized rules make a number of important changes. Here, our West Palm Beach FDUTPA attorney highlights the key things to understand about the FTC’s revised advertising guidelines regarding reviews and endorsements.
Six Material Changes to the FTC’s Advertising Guidelines for Review and Endorsements
Many businesses and organizations use reviews and endorsements in their marketing campaigns. There is a good reason for this: A review from a former customer or an endorsement from a trustworthy party can influence consumer purchasing decisions. With this in mind, the FTC has put guidelines in place regarding review/endorsement advertising. The guidelines were last revised in 2009. Since that time, the internet has transformed the economy. There have also been many other changes. The FTC has now finalized its updates to review/endorsement advertising guidelines. Here are six key things that you should know about the changes to the regulations:
- New principles have been developing regarding the procurement (and suppression) of consumer reviews;
- New rules are in place to address incentivized reviews by employees;
- Stricter requirements are in place regarding relevant disclosures about reviews;
- The definition of “endorsements” is expanded to include more things, including social media content;
- A more clear explanation has been developed regarding the potential liability businesses face for violations; and
- Stricter rules are in place for child-targeted advertising campaigns.
A Business in Florida May Be Liable for False Advertising Under the FDUTPA
The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) is a powerful consumer protection law. It is a key legal tool that regulates the conduct of businesses and protects consumers from fraudulent practices, including from false advertising. If a business in Florida engages in deceptive or misleading marketing strategies that can potentially harm consumers, it may be held liable under the FDUTPA. The FDUTPA defaults to the false advertising definition from the FTC. As such, the FTC’s guidelines regarding reviews and endorsement are relevant.
A key point that consumers and businesses should understand about the FDUTPA is that the law provides a private right of action for consumers who have been victimized by false advertising. Consumers can sue the offending business for monetary damages, attorney fees, and court costs. It can have long-term reputational damage to the business. Companies in Florida must exercise caution in their advertising and marketing practices to ensure they abide by the regulations stipulated in the FTC.
Get Help From a Deceptive Trade Practices Attorney in Southeast Florida
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our FDUTPA lawyers have experience handling a wide range of false advertising cases. If you have any questions about a deceptive/unfair business practice, we are here to help. Contact us today to arrange your completely confidential, no obligation consultation. From our offices in West Palm Beach, Wellington, and Miami, our firm takes on cases all across South Florida, including in Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County.