After reviewing those comments, the Commission is now making additional changes to the Guides, and adopting the resulting revised Guides as final.2 II. REVIEW OF COMMENTS ON PROPOSED REVISIONS TO THE GUIDES Nearly all of the comments received by the Commission took issue with, or raised questions about, one or more of the changes included in the proposed revised Guides.3 Several argued that there was no need for the Guides to be revised at all, and that the 1980 Guides, combined with continued industry self-regulation and the Commission’s case-by-case law enforcement, would adequately balance the needs of advertisers and the interest of consumer protection.4 As discussed below, others argued that the evidence in the record did not support the proposed changes,5 that the proposed revisions to the Guides could have a negative affect on emerging media channels and impede the ability of businesses to communicate with consumers 1 (...continued) than one comment. 2 The Guides represent administrative interpretations concerning the application of Section 5 of the FTC Act (15 U.S.C. 45) to the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. They are advisory in nature, and intended to give guidance to the public in conducting its affairs in conformity with Section 5. 3 The exceptions were the comments filed by Monyei-Hinson (calling for stringent regulation of endorsements and new media, and specific rules regarding holding celebrities accountable and disclosing celebrity pay); and Heath-McLeod (agreeing overall with the proposed changes but calling for, among other things, minimum standards for the size and clarity of disclosures). 4 AAAA/AAF, at 8, 10, 18; PRSA, at 2; ANA, at 2; DMA, at 3 (stating that the current approach should be continued “[u]ntil there is a demonstrated market failure across all media channels”). 5 PMA, at 3; DMA, at 3 (stating that there is an “insufficient basis to support a conclusion that the current regulatory and market safeguards inadequately protect consumers”). 3
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