Wow. No more ‘dramatic’ testimonials says FTC

How will they sell us now? No more big (and atypical) stories of income or weight loss allowed. No more overselling success.

Just in…

“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.

“The commission said advertisers featuring testimonials that claim dramatic results cannot hide behind disclaimers that the results aren’t typical.” See here. And here (half way down). Yikes!

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.)”

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Kim
    This is great news in my opinion, too many people are selling the "dream" with false promises and half truths.

    I've never used income claims or product claims and do just and dandy fine without them. I feel it's far better to be honest and upfront, so I don't mind saying what you earn will be directly related to the effort you put into it. Plain and simple, it generally weeds out the "wanna get rich, with out working" types who will only waste my time anyways.

    Treat others as you would like to be treated!

  • Learned about this just yesterday from Harlan Kilstein, who wrote ths on a link from his e-mail to an interview with John Carlton:
    "The good folks at the FTC require me to disclose that I am an affiliate for the Simple Writing System and that John Carlton will compensate me if you purchase this system. I was provided a copy of this system to evaluate and it has my highest recommendation."

    Fresh, honest and leaves me feeling positive about Harlan! So this might work in our favor, me thinks!

    Lucy in St. Thomas

  • I think this law is one of the best the FCC has ever passed. Now marketers can see all the Gurus that have been lying to them.

    I for one, don't buy programs that are hyped. I think if you have a product or program you have to lie about to sell you need to get another product or program


  • I think the new FTC guidelines are wonderful, and long overdue. Have never trusted "testimonials" very much, and the HYPS in some of the ads is just plain unbelievable.
    Will be interesting to see how much those ads change !! In my opinion, it's a long overdue regulation for intelligent control.
    Love you, POPS, ERFatBurn, Big B, and specially, all you do for us.
    Ann Carter

  • Does this, in any way, limit how I can use my own testimonial when using my product scripts like, "Let me tell you what happened to me…"?

    Or does simply saying, "I don't know if this will work for you or not" help me get around that?


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