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Interpretation Guideline #5 – Testimonials, Endorsements, Reviews7

The following provides guidance on disclosure that is required in order for a testimonial, endorsement, review or other representation (in any medium) to comply with Clause 7 of the Code.

  1. A testimonial, endorsement, review or other representation must disclose any "material connection" between the endorser, reviewer, influencer or person making the representation and the "entity" (as defined in the Code) that makes the product or service available to the endorser, reviewer, influencer or person making the representation, except when that material connection is one that consumers would reasonably expect to exist, such as when a celebrity publicly endorses a product or service.
  2. If such a material connection exists, that fact and the nature of the material connection must be clearly and prominently disclosed in close proximity to the representation about the product or service.

Examples of how to disclose material connections can be found in the FTC’s Guide to Testimonials & endorsements, available at https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/plain-language/pdf-0205-endorsement-guides-faqs_0.pdf, and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s White Paper – Ethical Word of Mouth Marketing Disclosure Best Practices in Today’s Regulatory Environment, available at http://womma.org/free-womm-resources.

7: October 2016