Is this an Endorsement?


0

Suppose there's a site that runs a blog about computer hardware and on one of the blogs about dealing with old hardware stuff, a blog reader asks something like 'Looking for possible online sites where i could list my old pc for sale? ' in the comments section.

Suppose i answered this question with something like ' Have a look at somepcsite.com . or try listing at somepcsite.com'

Assuming that somepcsite.com belongs to me , would you consider this as an endorsement?

Is there anything Ethically or Legally wrong about this?

If you think it is, what could be done to promote your product/site without being offending or sounding as an endorsement?

Edit: My question here is - Is this really an endorsement ? The answer does not state that the product/site is good or has such and such benefits... it's just a mention of the name of site and perhaps a casual remark that the asker might want to try this out to see if it helps him/her solve their problem. Do you really think this is an endorsement?

Secondly, it's very much possible that someone genuinely mentioned my site in response to such a question. The internet has a a swarm of annonymous users who might do this, so how do you track who mentioned it?... whether the site owner or just an annonymous internet user who heard the name somewhere.

Going by the current scenario, it seems that every time someone genuinely mentioned my site in response to a question as above, it would be suspected the site owner answered it when in reality i never did.

So what do you make out of this .. all this seems a lot of hassle and nothing more....

Marketing Legal Ethics Internet Marketing

asked May 2 '12 at 08:59
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User16659
18 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

3 Answers


3

I don't see anything wrong with that, as long as you are clear in your answer about it. There's nothing wrong with promoting your own business, but you can simply say something like:

Have a look at someshopsite.com, it has a large selection of ... and a
large community of users... Full disclosure: I am the owner of
someshopsite.com

answered May 2 '12 at 09:38
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Yoav Aner
318 points
  • I edited my question...Please see the edit section and if you could possibly clear the confusion. Appreciate all the help. – User16659 9 years ago
  • I looked at the edits of your question, and my answer still stands. I think you should be honest about it, even if nothing stops you from pretending to be an anonymous user making a suggestion. Let the anonymous suggestion do theirs and you do yours. It's entirely up to you of course. – Yoav Aner 9 years ago
  • Well, if that's exactly not an endorsement then that's pretty ok. My concern here is that if something like this was considered an endorsement(and of course someone could word it as a praise or benefits of using the product) , a competitor might hire someone to do such stuff and misuse the law to complain to a regulatory authority etc... in that sense this seems quite a hassle... What's your take on this ? – User16659 9 years ago
  • True, competitors can play nasty, or try to tarnish your reputation etc. You can't control that. You can however control your own actions, moral standards and values. I would focus on that. Some people call it karma, but I believe that if you act honestly and with good faith, you will eventually win over a competition that plays dirty. "stay away from the dark side" :) – Yoav Aner 9 years ago

1

If you are in the US, and if you want to comply with FTC guidelines concerning endorsements and testimonials, you should clearly and conspicuously disclose that the site is yours.

Please see Educate Employees about Online Endorsements – the FTC is Watching! (a blog post that I wrote 2+ years ago).

Disclaimer: This information does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

answered May 2 '12 at 12:51
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Dana Shultz
6,015 points
  • I edited my question...Please see the edit section and if you could possibly add anything more to help clear the confusion... Thanks for all the information. – User16659 9 years ago

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It's not an endorsement as such, but, if you're dropping into communities that you are not an active member of, it will be considered as spam, with or without the full disclosure.

answered May 3 '12 at 05:20
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Nick Stevens
4,436 points
  • I have seen a few companies keeping a tab on the internet for potential places to mention about their product(for example they came across a blog post that was relevant to their product/target market).. and they would post a comment there ( maybe not a direct mention of the company in the comment but a signature that points to the company) although they are not an active blog participant/reader. So do you consider that spam? – User16659 9 years ago
  • @user16659 What I consider spam is not relevant. It's what the site owners/moderators consider spam that you need to be aware of. Try posting a link to your product in here are you'll find that it won't last very long. – Nick Stevens 9 years ago

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