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Guidelines for product endorsement and sponsorship or advertising


We've been getting quite a bit of feedback lately about either potentially misleading endorsements and/or "affiliated industry people" (sponsored, shop owner, manufacturers, writers) making statements about product without a clear distinction whether they have a "skin in the game".

Here at NWKA we'd like to following these guidelines as recommended by the FTC.

The gist of it is in the introductory paragraph.

--- Quote ---Suppose you meet someone who tells you about a great new product. It performs exactly as advertised and offers fantastic new features. Would that endorsement factor into your decision to buy the product? Probably.

Now suppose you learn that the person works for the company that sells the product – or has been paid by the company to tout the product. Would you want to know that when you’re evaluating the endorser’s glowing recommendation? You bet. That common-sense premise is at the heart of the revised Endorsement Guides issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency.

The revised Guides – issued after public comment and consumer research – reflect three basic truth-in-advertising principles:

Endorsements must be truthful and not misleading;

If the advertiser doesn’t have proof that the endorser’s experience represents what consumers will achieve by using the product, the ad must clearly and conspicuously disclose the generally expected results in the depicted circumstances; and

If there’s a connection between the endorser and the marketer of the product that would affect how people evaluate the endorsement, it should be disclosed.

Since the FTC issued the revised Guides, advertisers, ad agencies, bloggers, and others have sent questions to Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
--- End quote ---

The official guidelines are here ...

What does that mean here at NWKA?  Here is our distillation of the general guidelines.

If you are directly representing a particular product, either sponsored or otherwise employed, we ask that that affiliation be displayed in your signature.  If you are commenting on product that you received directly from the manufacturer at a discount (at pro rates or for review), or you are paid to review said product, we ask that you disclose that affiliation whenever you make statements endorsing the product.

Along these lines, NWKA is not a place for free advertising.  If you give to the community (you know what that means, don't make us spell that out) you are more than welcome to do some amount of "soft advertising", but please don't put the hard sell on.  If you are here repeatedly only pushing your products, well, DON'T DO THAT!!!  If you'd like to pay for advertising or donate products for NWKA events in exchange for advertising, contact and we can have a discussion.

If you see someone abusing the above guidelines, don't hassle them.  Use the "Report to moderator" button and if appropriate, one of us will take care of it.

-The NWKA Team


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