Federal Trade Commission (FTC) & Disclosure Policies: What You Should Really Know!

If you’re a blogger that earns money through affiliate marketing, especially through endorsements of products and services, then this should really interest you.

Over the years, nay these past few years when blogging has become big business on the net, many people have come up with a lot of misinformation about making money with blogs. One of those is the issue of disclosure policies as they have to do with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) endorsement guideline.

Some of the misinformation you may have come across are now cleared in the latest reversed Federal Trade Commission (FTC) endorsement guides. Going through the frequently asked questions and the answers provided by the FTC was an eye opener for me.

Now, it is not that I’ve really been intimidated by many of the information that has always been around. I’ve tried as much as possible to stay within the limits of what is required. However, with the latest clarification, it shows that the FTC is not in any way against bloggers.

Here are some of the questions answered that you should note:

Question: Isn’t it common knowledge that some bloggers are paid to tout products or that if you click a link on my site to buy a product, I’ll get a commission for that sale?

Answer: First, many bloggers who mention products don’t receive anything for their reviews and don’t get a commission if readers click on a link to buy a product. Second, the financial arrangements between some bloggers and advertisers may be apparent to industry insiders, but not to everyone else who reads a blog. Under the law, an act or practice is deceptive if it misleads “a significant minority” of consumers. So even if some readers are aware of these deals, many readers aren’t. That’s why disclosure is important.

Question: I’ve read that bloggers who don’t comply with the Guides can be fined $11,000? Is that true?

Answer: No. The press reports that said that were wrong. There is no fine for not complying with an FTC guide.

Question: Are you monitoring bloggers?

Answer: We’re not monitoring bloggers and we have no plans to. If concerns about possible violations of the FTC Act come to our attention, we’ll evaluate them case by case. If law enforcement becomes necessary, our focus will be advertisers, not endorsers – just as it’s always been.

Question: Is there special language I have to use to make the disclosure?

Answer: No. The point is to give readers the information. Your disclosure could be as simple as “Company X gave me this product to try . . ..”

Question: Do I have to hire a lawyer to help me write a disclosure?

Answer: No. What matters is effective communication, not legalese. A disclosure like “Company X sent me [name of product] to try, and I think it’s great” gives your readers the information they need. Or, at the start of a short video, you might say, “Some of the products I’m going to use in this video were sent to me by their manufacturers.” That gives the necessary heads-up to your viewers.

These answers are revealing indeed. You may want to read more about this on the FTC official page The FTC’s Revised Endorsement Guides: What People are Asking

I don’t know what you’ve always thought of the FTC endorsement policy before now. But whatever you’ve thought it’s time to change your mind.

Let me hear what you think about this. Post your comments below.

39 COMMENTS

  1. I have received automated voice messages from Carnival Cruise lines. I do not have an established business relationship with Carnival, nor did I request information….

  2. Thank you for checking things for us.  You definitely do your research, and do it thoroughly.  I do believe it would be hard for the FTC to police bloggers.  There are so many, and many are not in the United States, so the advertisers are the ones required to follow the laws.  Thank you again for clearing up all the confusion.

  3. I was looking online for a good review site about comparing auto insurance quotes and found some decent web sites that offered real reviews and free online quotes.

  4. You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.

    • Hi Alphonse, just have to write on this after hearing some many things about this topic. Frankly after reading the policy by myself I thought there were some things we were not really been told the truth about. Thanks for the comment.

  5. At last an outstanding writing related to the subject, maintain the great work and also I hope to examine far more within you in the long run.

  6. This is a good piece of writing, I was wondering if I could use this write-up on my website, I will link it back to your website though. If this is a problem please let me know and I will take it down right away.

  7. I’m grateful for this beneficial excellent web page; this may be the variety of subject that sustains me although out the day.We’ve generally heard been recently needing near to within your web-site suitable after I observed about these from a close good friend and was delighted when I was in a position to acquire it using trying out for a while. Being a eager blogger, I’m pleased to see other people today taking gumption and including to your neighborhood. I just needed to remark to demonstrate my comprehending for any publish since it is particularly inviting, and many writers really do not get the credit score they have earned. I’m positive I’ll be again again and will deliver a few of my friends.

  8. Fantastic blog! I definitely love how it is easy on my eyes as well as the facts are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which need to do the trick! Have a nice day!

  9. This Page looks truly beautiful. The colour schemes are amazing, you have made this page very attractive. But I did not like the stuff too much, you really need to improve on it. Please give more explanation.

  10. I read your blog alot and the information you have on it has been very useful to me. I just wanted to say Hi and say keep up the good work and to let you know that your blog is being read and it is useful 🙂 I look forward to more of your blog posts. Thanks.

  11. I’m happy for this valuable excellent web page; this would be the variety of subject that sustains me though out the day.We’ve generally heard been recently seeking near to in your web-site best following I noticed about these from a near buddy and was delighted when I was in a very position to acquire it following seeking out for a while. Being a excited blogger, I’m pleased to determine other men and women taking gumption and adding to the neighborhood. I just wanted to remark to display my being familiar with for the submit as it is particularly inviting, and lots of writers don’t get the credit score they should have. I’m constructive I’ll be again again and will send a handful of of my mates.

  12. It’s interesting how those public figures done to their bodies. Some of them had just become a mother & within weeks they were able to lose all those weight gain they had during pregnancy. It seems like either they have really good dietician or they just perfectly chose weight loss pills. I have been trying many diet programs & pills and have posted tips and reviews on my blog at http://www.DietALT.com

  13. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am only some of the one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work.

  14. I like reading blog posts, and when I stumbled upon to this blog, it just blew me away! Hey there I mean it! Your contents are rich and I uncover them very helpful! I wish I could post like you do but I do not have very good english.

  15. Your article appears real interesting but, as earlier, i’ve some troubles with your rss feeds : (Have got you come across troubles using Google Chrome in order to subscribe to feed? Chrome doesn’t redirect to any page after i click rss button.

  16. Your article appears real interesting but, as earlier, i’ve some troubles with your rss feeds : (Have got you met troubles using Google Chrome in order to subscribe to feed? Chrome doesn’t redirect to any page after i click rss button.

  17. I’m pleased for this priceless brilliant web page; this would be the variety of topic that sustains me though out the day.We’ve usually heard been just lately seeking near to inside your web-site best soon after I noticed about these from a shut companion and was delighted when I was inside a position to obtain it pursuing seeking out for a while. Becoming a eager blogger, I’m pleased to find out other folks taking effort and adding for the neighborhood. I just wished to comment to exhibit my being familiar with for just a distribute as it is particularly inviting, and many writers really don’t get the credit they ought to have. I’m constructive I’ll be back again once again and can deliver a few of my mates.

  18. Hello, You plainly are an individual who recognizes the energy of emphasis and the way to create targets that you achieve stage by action.Bravo to you.In my own lifestyle I’ve only seen accomplishment when I have stored my emphasis and built the steps wanted to achieve my ambitions – quite tiny takes place by change alone. This can be anything I like to often share with my readers.Truly, I am delighted to examine about other peoples accomplishment by means of laser like concentrate and you have it.Continued achievement for you,David

  19. Appreciate your taking this possiblity to mention this, Personally i think strongly over it and I take advantage of studying this subject. If at all, because you gain data, please update this site with new information. I have discovered it extremely useful.

  20. I think your article is extremaly interesting. I really admire your style of posting and I would like be as good as you are. The content is worth discussing. I’ll put link to your blog on my site. Best regards.

  21. Thank you for doing all the work for us. 🙂
     
    It would be WAY to hard to police all the bloggers.  It would take more money than FTC has to chase them all down.

Comments are closed.