Alliance Files Comments with FTC in Endorsement Guides Proceeding

On September 26, the News/Media Alliance filed comments with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in its proceeding about Endorsement Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. In these comments, the Alliance supports the FTC’s efforts to clarify these guidelines and advocates for guidance that doesn’t burden news publishers or magazines. The FTC’s proposed guidance on Live Reads is in line with the Alliance’s requested clarification in its earlier comments in this same proceeding. The Alliance specifically addressed “the increasing reliance on influencers and social media posts to endorse products and services and supports the inclusion of certain new Examples which address these practices.”

The Alliance’s comments request the FTC differentiate its guidance on intermediary liability by clarifying the duties of news publishers and magazines to ensure they have no excessive monitoring obligations or liability for influencer actions. Because monitoring obligations and extra liability for actions entirely removed from the news publisher or magazine would be unduly burdensome, the Alliance asks the FTC to clarify this guidance to exclude any excessive liability. The comments further request flexibility in both the definition of “endorsement” and “clear and conspicuous” to ensure news publishers and magazines do not face rigid standards that are difficult to comply with. The comments explain “Alliance members have directly witnessed the evolution of the advertising industry over the past 13 years since the Guides were last updated, and support the Commission’s general efforts to revise the Guides to reflect these changes.”

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