FTC Declines to Take Action against Ann Taylor Over Bloggers

The FTC made public its first investigation into a company's relationship with bloggers by deciding not to take action in a case with women's retailer Ann Taylor.

The FTC informed Ann Taylor that it would not take action against an event held earlier this year when the company invited bloggers to preview the Loft division's summer 2010 collection and offered a special gift in return. Those blogging were entered into a mystery gift-card drawing where they could win between $50 and $500. Bloggers had to submit posts to the company within 24 hours in order to find out the value of their gift card.

The offer of a gift card in return for a blog post caught the eye of the FTC. "We are concerned that bloggers who attended a preview on January 26, 2010, failed to disclose that they received gifts for posting blog content about that event," said a letter Mary Engle, the FTC's associate director of advertising practices.

Although the FTC took no action in this case, it highlights the importance of understanding how to comply with the FTC Testimonial and Endorsement Guidelines.

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