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ADVERTISING ENDORSEMENTS

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Advertisements done by celebrity artists to endorse, or give a positive testimony for, a product or service. The famous person doing the advertisement receives both money and exposure. With this kind of exposure, however, comes an identification of the artist with the product or service. Therefore, the artist's image will be affected. If the product or service has a reputable public opinion, it may well enhance the celebrity's reputation. On the other hand, a product that becomes tainted in the public's eye, may well color the reputation of the artist.

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: AGENCY.


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