Recently, Fiverr added this to every Seller’s gig under the sub-category Spokesperson & Testimonials…“Sellers in this category are actors. The testimonials they provide on your behalf are paid, promotional materials, and you should indicate this to your customers.”
This is response to the recent updates to the US Federal Trade Commission Guidelines and the even more recent warnings that a crack-down is imminent. The warning is that failure to comply may result in prosecution under the FTC’s Fair Trade Act and Truth in Advertising. Marketers, Bloggers, Celebrities, Actors, Online Influencers will be their targets (check the entire FTC website for the complete list, hard to find but it’s there). In other words, everyone who is party to false advertising. Read the FTC Guidelines and their Updated Guidelines (2 separate places on their site) to understand their definition of false advertising too. btw- Fiverr is not party, they are merely a platform.
ARE SELLERS AT RISK? Yes, according to the FTC website and various attorney sites I visited. I’m not an attorney, but I do know how to read the layman language the FTC purposely makes clear to us. Fiverr’s notice may appear to protect Sellers, but trust me, it does not. Only you can protect yourself from being an unwitting participant in false advertising.
HOW DO YOU PROTECT YOURSELF?
The FTC makes clear that they require a disclosure added to the video letting consumers know this is a paid actor. Since you offer not just acting, but complete video advertising production, you are required to comply. This is commonplace with advertisers just about everywhere but online. Now, the FTC wants disclosures for online marketing, that’s all.
SHOULD YOU TRUST THE MARKETER TO ADD THE DISCLOSURE AFTER YOU’VE DELIVERED THE VIDEO?
That’s your decision. Just understand that if someone brings suit against the marketer, you will probably be included. Fiverr would receive a court order requiring they turn over your contact info. Much, much easier to protect yourself by adding those few simple words in the disclosure as an extra. You’ll protect you, the consumer, the Buyer, and make more money too. Honest Buyers will be appreciative.
This is what I’m planning. I’m explaining to marketers the benefit of adding the disclosure (actually, there is a benefit) and the risk of not adding it. I offer it as an extra that I overlay onto the video. Personally, I feel that If they don’t buy it then they never planned to and they become a risk to my retirement account that I’m not willing to take.