Contests, Pinterest and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The FTC makes it clear that “pinning” may constitute an endorsement of a company or its products.

Therefore a company requiring the pinning of a certain group of images (their own) are encouraging an endorsement – and in the case of doing so for the chance of winning a (substantial) prize – those pinning the images are, therefore, also endorsing a product for remuneration. In that case there must be a disclosure – just as a blogger is required to disclose if his/her recommendation might possibly generate a commission.

Confused yet merry go roundAffiliates, too, may come under the scrutiny of the FTC if they pin or encourage pinning in certain ways. Confused yet? Going around in circles? Sure – I know I am – or was.

If you are an affiliate or a merchant and if YOU “pin” or plan to promote (just about) anything on Pinterest – you really need to read this article by DG Law (link below) for a summary of what’s been happening and a review of a recent investigation. The term used to be Caveat Emptor – Let the Buyer Beware. Now it needs to be  extended to “Let the Promoter and the Merchant Beware” – as it should.

READ THIS: Here is an explanatory article (.pdf link) from Performance Marketing Association (PMA) members, and industry attorneys, Davis & Gilbert LLP: Contest Entrants’ Pins Raise FTC Endorsement Concerns.

Be aware of the law you are likely to get stung.