Eden Fantasys compliance with the FTC's Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
As most people know, Eden Fantasys has a strong review community through our Review Program. It is crucial that we continue to be transparent in our practices, and therefore, we are instituting mandatory FTC compliance as part of our Terms Of Service.
The bottom-line of the revised FTC guidelines is that consumers have a right to know if the reviewer's opinion has been compromised by a free products. Although we always encourage complete honesty and details in the reviews - we will now also require that when a reviewer does a free assignment for us, they mention that the item was given to them for free in the review. We are making this even easier by noting the compliance statement on review pages and off-site review widgets.
The Federal Trade Commission has revised the rules about endorsements and testimonials in advertising that had been in place since 1980. The new regulations are aimed at online media and advertisements on blogs and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. These regulations apply to us in the regard that a review is essentially a testimonial - and this ensures that you agree to disclose whether we gave you the product for free and that you agree to provide a truthful review.
As of December 1st, 2009, people who review products must disclose whether they received the products for free or whether or not they were paid in any way by advertisers. The new rules even include celebrities, who will now need to disclose any ties to companies, should they promote products on a talk show or on Twitter. A second major change, which was not aimed specifically at bloggers or social media, was to eliminate the ability of advertisers to gush about results that differ from what is typical - for instance, from a weight loss supplement or hair growth chemical etc.
The Federal Trade Commission is trying to make word-of-mouth endorsements on the net easier to believe, and penalize spammers, paid shills, fake blogs and so on. These are the same sorts of regulations that have governed other forms of media, like television or print for many years.
To learn more, go to: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm or read the full FTC guidelines here: http://ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005endorsementguidesfnnotice.pdf
If you are continuing a review onto your blog or doing an unconventional review of a product that you received from Eden Fantasys for free, and you will not be using a widget, you should include a line about the item so that your blog is in compliance with the FTC guidelines. You could use something like: "This product was provided to me free of charge by Eden Fantasys in exchange for an unbiased review. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines."