Endorsement Disclaimer When Mentioning Products or Services

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Extension personnel should feel comfortable sharing a broad range of factual, research-based information in order to best address stakeholder needs. This includes referencing research and/or resources from other reputable, trusted entities at times.

When mentioning external brand names, products and/or services, Extension experts should include an endorsement disclaimer to affirm their objectivity and research-based approach. See the statement below for a sample endorsement disclaimer, which can be placed at the end of a communications or wherever is most convenient.

Endorsement Disclaimer

“The use of brand names and/or any mention or listing of specific commercial products or services herein is solely for educational purposes and does not imply endorsement by NC State University or our partners, nor discrimination against similar brands, products or services not mentioned.”

When Should I Use the Disclaimer?

In terms of when specifically to include the endorsement disclaimer, there is no cut-and-dried rule governing its use; it should be used at your discretion. Our advice is to use your best judgment and follow a basic rule of thumb:

If you reference an external brand, product or service in a way that could be construed as instructional guidance or a formal recommendation, then include the disclaimer. On the other hand, if you mention a brand in passing — e.g. “I was in my John Deere the other day when I first noticed that something was wrong with the crop…” — then a disclaimer is probably unnecessary for that particular situation.

When in doubt, the best practice is to include the statement!

Remember Copyright

Copyright is a legal right to control the use of certain types of works, including text, graphics / photos, video, audio and many other forms of expression.

Extension experts are expected to respect the intellectual property rights of others and comply with copyright rules at all times.

More Resources

Find the endorsement disclaimer, along with other required statements and related guidance, at Referencing Extension.

See also: Guidance on Employee Political Activities