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Endorsements and testimonials are governed by the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC). According to FTC regulations, an endorsement
is "any advertising message (including verbal statements,
demonstrations, or depictions of the name, signature, likeness
or other identifying personal characteristics of an individual
or the name or seal of an organization) which message consumers
are likely to believe reflects the opinions, beliefs, findings,
or experience of a party other than the sponsoring advertiser."
The FTC regulations require that all affirmative claims for
products be verified before the advertisement is presented to
the public. The celebrity who endorses a product or service may
be held liable if he personally guarantees the product or service.
For this reason, a celebrity may want to have independent verification
prior to making any claims or testimonials.
Further, if the advertisement gives representation that the
celebrity endorser actually uses or has used the product, then
the celebrity must be, or must have been, a bona fide user of
the product. In addition, the advertiser may only use the endorsement
where the advertiser has good reason to believe the endorser continues
to subscribe to the views presented.
Often, product endorsements are very lucrative. Each deal requires
negotiation between the parties involved. Six and even well into
seven figures can sometimes be commanded by superstars. The deal
may be for a single endorsement, or repeated commercials. Commercial
repeats would bring in ongoing residuals and the deal may last
for a period of weeks or even over several years.
Other endorsements may be done in return for valuable consideration
such as merchandise. Equipment manufacturers may offer the use
of their product in exchange for the artist's endorsement, for
example. And finally, some endorsements, such as political or
charitable testimonies may be done for free. See Cross-links:
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