Disclosure

By Bill Hood • January 19, 2011

At Solutions Journal Magazine, we believe that you should rightly expect that what you are reading is the truth, that we are fair to all concerned, that we are building goodwill and better friendships in all that we do, and that we are beneficial to all concerned. This is the basis of our being, and yes, it is the Four-Way Test that has been the adopted by millions of businesses the world over in the last 50 years, having been translated into more than 100 languages.

It is our goal to gain the trust of each of our readers and we do make every effort to conform to that standard. However, not all publications subscribe to this standard and thus the Federal Trade Commission has had to make a ruling concerning paid endorsements to assure the public that they are not being mislead by articles in which the author has received a payment for making statements.

The new FTC ruling, 16 C.F.R. Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements in Advertising, addresses endorsements by consumers, experts, organizations, and celebrities, as well as the disclosure of important connections between advertisers and endorsers.

Under the Guides, advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her experience with a product or service as typical when that is not the case will be required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect. This covers “material connections” (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect.

These Guides address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed. An individual who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, authors who make a paid endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service. Likewise, if a company refers in an advertisement to the findings of a research organization that conducted research sponsored by the company, the advertisement must disclose the connection between the advertiser and the research organization. And a paid endorsement – like any other advertisement – is deceptive if it makes false or misleading claims.

We believe that we are in compliance with the FTC ruling, 16 C.F.R. Part 255, as we…

  • Do not sell advertising at Solutions Journal Magazine
  • We never accept payments for free products in trade
  • We never get paid a commission on any link within the site
  • We do not include Google AdWords in which we receive payment
  • We do not allow our content to be influenced in any manner

The opinions expressed on this website are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Solutions Journal Magazine, nor its owners.