How will they sell us now? No more big (and atypical) stories of income or weight loss allowed. No more overselling success.
“The Federal Trade Commission on Monday took steps to make product information and online reviews more accurate for consumers, regulating blogging for the first time (see here) and mandating that testimonials reflect typical results.
Direct from the new FTC Guidelines:
“Under the revised Guides, advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her experience with a product or service as typical when that is not the case will be required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect. In contrast to the 1980 version of the Guides – which allowed advertisers to describe unusual results in a testimonial as long as they included a disclaimer such as “results not typical” – the revised Guides no longer contain this safe harbor.” From the new FTC Guidelines here.
Is this finally the end of selling the dream using those spectacular, atypical results? Results which almost no one attains except those selling the program?
Testimonials must now represent TYPICAL results. That’s not gonna be pretty. We know 95%+ of opportunity seekers (MLM, etc) lose more than they ever make. Same for Internet marketing money-making programs. The silent evidence will now rise to the top.
Big question: Will you buy that next opportunity if you knew going in, that a typical person (say 75% to be kind) doesn’t make any money? Or doesn’t lose 100 lbs?
If not, what WOULD make you buy into an opportunity and put in that necessary sustained effort?
The good news: this stunning change gives us the opportunity to create a whole new kind of advertising and advertising testimonial. Not based on overselling success. I’m thrilled.
Who else wants to pay a fine of up to $11,000?
P.S. Let no one misunderstand the cartoon. I love Frank’s stuff. I got it, fell in love with it and I promoted it heartily. No more dramatic testimonials (because they’re so rare) will be a good challenge for him, as it will for all MLM and Internet money-making promoters. Unless they can make the typical story – “no financial results in year one” appealing, I’d bet testimonial days are over for typical promoters. But of course, some of us are atypical.
UPDATE: Frank Kern just posted he’s quitting big income testies: “My Mass Control sales video didn’t have any (but I did use them in pre-launch. I won’t do that any more.)”