In the October 13th New York Times editorial regarding “Truth in Advertising…” they claim perfectly sound reasons for consumers to be wary of how social networking site content is possibly deceitful. All too often corporations hire bloggers to “fake” positive opinions about products and services offered, or celebrities are secretly hired to endorse a product without disclosing their positive opinions for hire. The Times reminds us that “Deceiving consumers has long been illegal” and that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has amended its consumer guidelines recently to “clarify that they also apply to blogs, Twitter and other forms of online communication.” One update includes the demand for celebrity endorsers to disclose “payments in cash or kind” from companies whose products they endorse. As a principal in a New York based advertising company, I applaud and agree with the updates of the FTC Guidelines. For years we have been applying similar rules and integrity to the messaging we produce for our clients and those rules should certainly apply online as well. Social networking sites should continue as venues for trust building among online communities and the recent revisions to the FTC Guidelines help do that.
President/CEO of Sanna Mattson MacLeod