FTC Clarifies $11,000 Blogger Fines

The Federal Trade Commission sought to clarify its policies on bloggers who fail to disclose paid reviews or free products, as most stories about its “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” focused on the potential of an $11,000 fine.

FTC assistant director, division of advertising practices Richard Cleland told paidContent:

That $11,000 fine is not true. Worst-case scenario, someone receives a warning, refuses to comply, followed by a serious product defect; we would institute a proceeding with a cease-and-desist order and mandate compliance with the law…There’s no monetary penalty, in terms of the first violation, even in the worst case. Our approach is going to be educational, particularly with bloggers. We’re focusing on the advertisers.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.