As most of you know by now, I’ve been very busy since the new FTC Rules regarding the use of testimonials and endorsements in advertising were released on October 5th. Remember those rules become effective next Tuesday, December 1, 2009.
I’ve been doing Webinars, Blogtalkradio shows, phone interviews, magazine interviews (no TV appearances yet, but amazingly the national TV media doesn’t seem to be paying much attention to this yet…). I am also a co-creator of the new FTC Toolkit and Site Compliant program and expect to see you using the new Site Compliant Trust Seal right away. Here’s mine:
One question has been coming up over and over – especially for bloggers.
Do I have to put a disclosure next to every affiliate link or can I do one blanket disclosure?
Based on the new rules and the interviews with FTC officials that I’ve been reading, I think you need to do BOTH. So, I set up this site as an example.
Here’s what you’ll find:
Some things you’ll notice about this page:
- First, it makes the required disclosures of material connection with each organization or entity that pays me a commission for links.
- Second, it makes the statement that I intend to be compliant with the FTC rules.
- Third, it gives my contact information.
- Forth, it tells people how I’m going to disclose material connections on my site.
- Fifth, it turns the disclosure page into another marketing page by including examples of all the affiliate links! (I think this is brilliant…, but it’s 3:49am on Thanksgiving for Pete’s sake.)
2. Affiliate disclosures next to every element that visitors might not think I have a material connection with.
We’ll be posting this disclosure form to the membership area at www.sitecompliant.com for members to use as part of their membership. Yes, I know it’s short and easy enough that plenty of people are just going to steal this and use it without permission. I can live with that if it helps a few people, but I also sincerely hope that most people will do the right thing (and find an incredible value) by going to www.sitecompliant.com, purchasing the FTC Toolkit and getting their 60-day free membership in the Site Compliant program and start using the trust seal on their site too.
YOU SHOULD BE PART OF SITE COMPLIANT starting NOW.
OH! And I hope you have a GREAT Thanksgiving, 2009. We all have a great deal to be thankful for.