Advertising of Health Products-New FTC guidlines

FTC (Federal Trade Commission) of USA has announced a new “Advertising Guidelines” applicable for endorsement of health products. Essentially this applies to advertisements which say in effect “I have used this product and found it useful”. It affects advertisements using celebrities to endorse products.

The guideline require that a disclosure to me made that the results claimed are “not to be considered as typical” and are relevant for compliance of HIPAA-HITECH by  media owners.

Additionally, a blog who writes positively about a product is also considered as an “Endorsement” if he receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product.

The guidelines are reasonable and are issued in consumer interest. Probably it will bring more responsibility on the advertisers.

The principle is normally adopted as “Journalistic Ethics” in the financial circles. Some times a regulatory organization such as SEBI may impose penalties on any “Pump and Dump” attempts where endorsements are made for monetary considerations are prima facie fraudulent.

Endorsements in health products is mostly prevalent even in India through TV channels and products are brazenly over hyped. Probably the FTC guidelines may trigger some thoughts in India too about “Appropriate Disclosures” (Not banning) for advertisement of health products.


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About Vijayashankar Na

Naavi is a veteran Cyber Law specialist in India and is presently working from Bangalore as an Information Assurance Consultant. Pioneered concepts such as ITA 2008 compliance, Naavi is also the founder of Cyber Law College, a virtual Cyber Law Education institution. He now has been focusing on the projects such as Secure Digital India and Cyber Insurance
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