Bloggers, Affiliates, the FTC and Disclosure

Affiliate link disclosure is a hotly debated topic. Well now it looks like the FTC is planning to regulate disclosure, as well as false or exaggerated claims.

FTC plans to monitor blogs for claims, payments – Washington Post

“New guidelines, expected to be approved late this summer with possible modifications, would clarify that the agency can go after bloggers — as well as the companies that compensate them — for any false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest.”

Conflict of interest as explained in the Post story includes payment, gifts and even freebies given in exchange for a blog post, recommendation or review. The article is focused primarily on blogs but I assume sites would be held accountable too.

So like it or not, it looks like affiliate links are going to need to be disclosed.

Today Brian Clark at CopyBlogger wrote a dynamite post about how to turn ugly link disclosures into an actual selling benefit. It’s a excellent read filled with info you’ll need to deal with the upcoming FTC guidelines.

How to Turn Affiliate Marketing Disclosure Into a Selling Point

Other good coverage:

Proposed FTC Guidelines & How They Affect Affiliates & Bloggers

FTC Going After Bloggers = Epic Fail

1 Comment on Bloggers, Affiliates, the FTC and Disclosure

  1. Good post, Linda – looks like you’ve been on this issue since the beginning!
    Yes, things are heating up here, at both state [AG] and federal [FTC] level – I’ll be at Affiliate Summit East in NY next Monday and Tuesday, and would be happy to discuss these issues further with attendees. I’m a 17+ year FTC veteran, including former Regional Director in NY.

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