Q: Say a car company pays a blogger to write that he wants to buy a certain new sports car and he includes a link to the company’s site. But the blogger doesn’t say he’s going to actually buy the car – or even that he’s driven it. Is that still an endorsement subject to the FTC’s Endorsement Guides?
A: Yes, an endorsement can be aspirational. It’s an endorsement if the blogger is explicitly or implicitly expressing his or her views about the sports car (e.g., “I want this car”). If the blogger was paid, it should be disclosed.