FTC Guidelines Are In Effect

Today is a the day. The FTC’s recent updates to its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising are now in affect.

To comply with the Guides, individuals (bloggers, users of social media) must disclose every “material connection” or relationship they have with an advertiser.

How to comply with the changes?

  • Disclose whenever you have a relationship with an advertiser, product or company.
  • Disclose when you are discussing a product or anything of value that you received for free or at a special discount. You can be a fan but as soon as you’ve received something of value, you need to disclose what you’ve received when writing about it.
  • Disclose where you work when you mention your employer, its competitors, or its industry in a blog post, tweet or comment online.

How do you make a disclosure? It’s very simple.

  • “I work for Company A.”
  • If Company B sends you Item B hoping that you review, disclose in the review that you got Item B for free.
  • If Company C pays the way for to participate in a customer event you might write: “I’m a Company C customer and they paid for my travel to attend this event.”

It’s no big deal. It’s the honest and ethical thing to do.

It may even work in your favor. Others will realize that you’re cheap advertising and send you more free stuff.

By the way, I don’t receive any advertising dollars or endorsements in connection with ComplianceBuilding.com. I generate a few dollars of affiliate income from links to products on Amazon. Much of that goes to the PTO affiliate account for my kid’s elementary school.

I occasionally get some free stuff to review. When I do, I’ll let you know when I write about it. [See this morning’s review of Enterprise 2.0.]

Feel free to send that new BMW for me to review. I will happily post an honest review.

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