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Executive Summary

Marketers using compensated endorsers to promote products online should not overlook the possibility of state attorney general actions to enforce the Federal Trade Commission's recent revised guidance on endorsements and testimonials, a marketing attorney cautioned Oct. 8. Because every state has a ''Mini-FTC Act'' outlawing deceptive and unfair trade practices, the FTC's new rules on endorsements could shape the enforcement of those state laws as well. The FTC's updated ''Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements in Advertising,'' published Oct. 5 (191 ECD, 10/6/09), state that advertisers should require individuals who are paid or receive free products in exchange for posting product reviews online to disclose the sponsorship. Brands should also monitor endorsements to ensure compliance, the commission advised.

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