Avoiding the Pitfalls of Endorsements and Testimonials

Consumer or celebrity endorse­ments and testimonials can be powerful advertising devices. The FTC defines an endorsement as any advertising message (including verbal statements, demonstrations, or depictions of the name, signature, likeness or other identifying personal characteristics of an individual, or the name or seal of an organization) that consumers are likely to believe reflects the opinions, beliefs, findings, or experiences of a party other than the sponsoring advertiser, even if the views expressed by that party are identical to those of the sponsoring advertiser.” What matters is what a consumer is likely to believe, not an advertiser’s or endorser’s intent.

This session will help in-house counsel follow the FTC’s guidelines to guarantee the strength of product endorsements and provide advice for anticipating and managing scandals, proper pre-contract due diligence, and appropriate struc­turing of morals clauses.  We will review the FTC endorsement guides and disclosure requirements, recommend strate­gies for reducing union talent costs, and offer options for reducing allocation of P&H costs under multi-service endorsement contracts.