The US Federal Trade Commission’s proposal to tighten regulations covering testimonials and endorsements in new media advertising have been dubbed an “unnecessary burden” and “inappropriate” by a US industry body.

The FTC has suggested that the current requirement that advertisers provide a safeharbour statement or disclaimer alongside testimonials or consumer endorsements is not sufficient and that they should also provide details of average results.

This constraint would cover all forms of advertising and could have a profound impact on the way the weight-loss and dietary supplement industry industries communicate their message.

However, the FTC’s proposals are based on research conducted in print media and could therefore be inappropriate for emerging media, Dr Douglas MacKay, VP of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), told just-food today (20 April).

“There is a concern that this would cause an undue burden…. The industry is very concerned over the expense that could be incurred. It could also potentially put the brakes on new media before it has had the opportunity to emerge,” Dr MacKay warned.