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FTC Guidelines: Keep Calm & Understand the New FTC Guidelines

By Apr 29, 2013July 8th, 201427 Comments

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Are you up to date on the latest FTC Guidelines?

On March 12, 2013, the FTC released a new set of guidelines in order to provide additional information on disclosures in online advertising.

If you are working with brands or doing any type of affiliate marketing, you need to get familiar with the updated FTC Guidelines on disclosing and how to comply not only on your blog, but also on Twitter, Facebook, and all of your social media platforms.

ftc-guidelines2How To Comply With The FTC Guidelines

Before writing another sponsored post, review or promoting your affiliate links, be sure you have followed all FTC guidelines published in their latest update. The FTC requires that all disclosures be clear and conspicuous. A general site disclosure is not enough. Adding a few key pieces of information to your blog posts will help you stay in compliance

Sponsored Posts

When writing a sponsored post, you need to let the readers know right away that they are reading a sponsored post. The days of leaving that out or putting it at the bottom of a post are gone. Your readers need to know up front that you were paid to write a blog post.

Something as simple as the following statement will ensure that you are in compliance:

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of (Company Name).

Another strategy is to incorporate a disclosure in an organic way, while also still driving SEO.

Here’s another example to consider:

I am so thrilled to have this opportunity to receive a complimentary FastAction™ Fold Click Connect™ Jogger from Graco.

In both examples, you are identifying that you have been compensated up front.

If you have affiliate links within the post, you’ll also want to disclose that at the top of the post.

Social Media

Until now, there has not been a lot of regulation when it comes to social media. This has now changed. Keeping the FTC happy when it comes to social media is pretty simple.

If you send out a tweet, post something on Facebook or update any other social media platform, simply putting AD or #ad in front of the statement or the URL will let your followers know that you have received some form of compensation for your amplification.

Here are a few examples of what tweets that are compliant with the new guidelines look like:

#ad Loved meeting my #GracoJogger buddies today and trying out our new strollers! Have u seen how pretty they are? http://bit.ly/UJOMAl

Come see how much my baby Jane LOVES her new #GracoJogger today on my blog. She’s smiling from ear to ear! #ad http://bit.ly/UJOMAl

As you can see, based on new FTC guidelines, you should now insert the #ad hashtag at the beginning of your tweets/other amplification or immediately in front of the link to a sponsor’s website.

If you choose to include a disclosure link in your post, the reader must know what the link is. Simply including a link is not enough. The readers must know that the link takes them to your disclosure.

Product Reviews

Anytime you receive product from a brand in exchange for a review, you need to let your readers know that upfront. You can put a disclosure before you write the post or you can let your readers know within the first sentance or two that you received the product free in exchange for the review. Your readers need to see your disclosure before they decide to buy.

We encourage you to take some time to read through the FTC guidelines for yourself!

Check out a copy here: FTC Guidelines.

And if you are ready to start earning income from sponsored posts, be sure that you have an account in our new blogger portal: https://massivesway.secure.force.com/. Our network is continually looking to pair bloggers with paid opportunities that make sense, but we can only do so if we have your info!

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