User or Not, Forever an Endorser: FTC Regulation of Online Endorsement and Content Control

Matthew Thomas Bray


This study aims to explore possible shortcomings and future applicability of the FTC Revised Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. The Federal Trade Commission issued the Guides in 2009 to address issues surrounding online endorsement in an effort to maintain standards of advertising practice in new media. This study reviews the original purpose of the Guides and how well that purpose has been upheld in accordance with the cases and rulings the Guides have been applied to. This study concludes that the FTC has yet to clarify ambiguities surrounding the concept of a bona fide user, message appropriation, and content control.

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