FTC Endorsement Guides

Goose and GanderA company holds a press event to tout the success of its newly introduced product. Someone in the audience asks a question, which the Company subsequently uses in its advertising for the product. However, the Company fails to disclose that it actually paid for the audience member to fly into the press event. Is this a problem under the FTC’s Endorsement Guides? Most likely yes, since the payment of travel expenses would probably be a material connection between the consumer and the company.

A recent article in American Banker converts this hypothetical into reality, except that the company is a government agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. According to the American Banker, an outspoken critic of indirect auto lenders, Harry Douglas Lane, was in the audience at a recent CFPB forum and was called upon to speak as an audience participant. However, no one in attendance or the press covering the event was informed that the CFPB had paid for Lane’s flight to the forum as well as his hotel. 
Continue Reading What’s Good for the Goose Is Not Good for the Gander: The CFPB and the Endorsement Guides