Networkers (and companies) often market their nutritional, weight loss or skin care products by citing the company MD, the medical board, or the company’s science board. These experts have confirmed, they’ll tell a prospect, that product X is cutting edge, the best of what’s out there.
Starting December 1, you will now have to tell prospects up front if the medical folks whose testimonials you’re using are being paid by the company. Many networkers themselves don’t realize that many company medical experts are being paid not only a salary but a percentage of the product sold.
This kind of payment is, in itself, not a bad thing. But as of December 1, that fact has to be disclosed. Because, says the FTC,
“these facts would likely materially affect the credibility that consumers attach to the endorsement. Accordingly, the advertisement (or whatever promotion – kk) should clearly and conspicuously disclose such a connection between the company and the physician.”
Here’s the example in the FTC Guides:
“Example 4: An ad for an anti-snoring product (or nutritional, weight loss or skin care – kk) features a physician who says that he has seen dozens of products come on the market over the years and, in his opinion, this is the best ever. Consumers would expect the physician to be reasonably compensated for his appearance in the ad.
“Consumers are unlikely, however, to expect that the physician receives a percentage of gross product sales or that he owns part of the company, and either of these facts would likely materially affect the credibility that consumers attach to the endorsement.
Accordingly, the advertisement should clearly and conspicuously disclose such a connection between the company and the physician (ital added). See here.
The other option, of course, is not to use those medical testimonials at all when you’re selling the product. After all, even with MDs or other scientific experts saying how great it is, no product works for everyone. I’ve taught alternatives to selling without science for years in “If My Product’s So Great, How Come I Can’t Sell It?” See here or story here.
There are much more effective ways to market the product than using MD or scientific testimonials, anyway. Most peeps don’t care about those anymore, since every product representative says the same thing about their product.