Originally published: June 24, 2010
Last updated: June 24, 2010 - 8:37pm
People who endorse marketers for a fee on Twitter could disclose the payment by adding a hashtag like "#paid ad" or "#ad" to their tweets, the Federal Trade Commission said.
That was just one piece of new advice from the FTC about how to interpret its revised guides to testimonials and endorsements, issued last October. The guides are not in themselves enforceable, but indicate the type of activity the FTC will consider deceptive. They specified that bloggers should reveal "material connections" to marketers -- including the receipt of free review copies -- when consumers would be surprised to learn of the connections. This week, the FTC published additional material about the guides, including answers to frequently asked questions. One of the questions addressed concerned how Web users could make adequate disclosures on Twitter, where posts are limited to 140 characters. The FTC suggested using a hashtag like "#paid ad," noting that it only required eight characters. The FTC also reiterated this week that its focus is on advertisers, not bloggers.
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