Amoskeag Business Incubator - "Ask-the-Expert" About New FTC Endorsement Guides

Manchester, NH, September 04, 2010 --( Are you a blogger? If so, you might want to take note of recent revisions to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising (the “Guides”) set forth the new general guidelines regarding endorsements or testimonials. The revised Guides became effective on December 1, 2009 and were designed to determine whether a particular endorsement or testimonial by a consumer, expert, organization or celebrity is deceptive and unfair. You can learn more about the recent changes to the Guides in the September “Ask-the-Expert” on-line forum featuring expert Attorney Maria Recalde, of Sheehan, Phinney, Bass+Green.

According to Recalde regarding the revised Guides, “Bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the ‘material connections’ they share with the seller of the product or service they review. Specifically, when there exists a connection between the endorser and the seller of the product or service at issue that might materially affect the weight or credibility of the endorsement.” A failure to disclose these connections and follow the guidelines in your testimonial or endorsement could result in enforcement action by the FTC under Section 5 of the Act, regarding unfair and deceptive practices.

To read the “Ask-the-Expert” article and get your questions answered, visit or, and click on “Ask-the-Expert”. You’ll receive a personal response via e-mail and all questions and answers will be posted to both Websites. This article will be posted throughout the month of September.

Maria E. Recalde is a shareholder at Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green, P.A., admitted to practice in Massachusetts and resident in the firm’s Boston office. She chairs the firm’s Corporate Department and is a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property and Technology Practice Group. Her practice concentrates on the rapidly changing areas of technology and intellectual property transactions, litigation and counseling. A significant portion of Maria’s practice involves advising clients on matters involving intellectual property protection, licensing and transferring, electronic contracting, privacy and data security regulation and compliance, electronic communications and social media use in the workplace, consumer privacy, Internet marketing, online contests and sweepstakes, domain names, and web site development, hosting and maintenance. Maria also counsels clients in prevention techniques for avoiding litigation and other risk exposures in these areas. Maria is a graduate of Boston College Law School and Wellesley College. She is a native of Managua, Nicaragua, and is fluent in Spanish.

The “Ask-the-Expert” on-line forum features an array of specialists representing New Hampshire. Past topics have included: starting a small business; social media; international trade; tax management; government procurement; the venture capital process; patents, trademarks & copyrights; and disaster preparedness for business technology. All articles, along with the questions and responses, remain available for viewing at

About the Amoskeag Business Incubator (abi): The abi is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides affordable office space and technical assistance to early stage companies creating a supportive entrepreneurial environment that stimulates the growth of businesses, ensures economic vitality for the community and encourages job creation. For more information, please contact the abi at 603-629-9511, visit or e-mail

Amoskeag Business Incubator
Michele Petersen