DC Fawcett Warns Marketers Who Promote Products Using Social Media How To Avoid FTC Complaints

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DC Fawcett says marketers posting recommendations for products to their social media account without clearly marking it as an ad can buy a trip to civil court. according to the FTC

D.C. Fawcett is warning marketers that the FTC may now be monitoring your Tweets and Facebook posts to make sure you’re clearly identifying any promotions as an ad.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, FTC regulators say that posting an ad on Facebook or Twitter has the same basic requirement as any old-fashioned ad and can’t mislead consumers.

DC Fawcett commented, “I agree with the FTC that marketers shouldn’t mislead consumers, however, I don’t think my Facebook post should have to be prefaced with a long disclosure statement.”

However, the FTC disagrees according to the Wall Street Journal article. The FTC provided some hypothetical promotions that could be considered crossing the line. One would-be Twitter post from a fictitious celebrity account said: "Shooting movie beach scene. Had to lose 30lbs in 6 wks. Thanks Fat-away Pills for making it easy. Typical loss: 1lb/wk. #Spon." The FTC said the used abbreviation for sponsor, "#Spon" could be unclear to consumers.

The FTC also stated that disclosures need to be included in these micro ads because in many cases, consumers can immediately go purchase the item at a brick-and-mortar store without browsing for more information online.

DC Fawcett said, “I find this highly irregular. If I provide a link for a friend to buy a headache remedy online, but instead he wants to go get it from the local grocery store, how is this misleading if I’m not getting paid a commission from that recommendation.”

DC Fawcett added, “I think the FTC’s intentions are good, but I see too many grey areas in applying to this social media channels, which means there is going to be some confusion amongst marketers. Unfortunately, confusion is usually met with fines from the FTC instead of answers, it's really an unpleasant way for someone to learn what's acceptable and what's not.”

Dc Fawcett is Internet Marketing entrepreneur who has been teaching online marketing principles to small business and individuals since 2009.

He teaches basic business marketing principles and Internet marketing strategies to business owners and individuals alike. For more information visit http://www.internetmarketingbasicsblog.com/?p=226

DC Fawcett Corporation
DC Fawcett
622 E Lumsden Rd, Brandon, FL 33511-6524
(813) 689-2300

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