Have you heard that the FTC has updated the .com Disclosures?? Their last update was in 2009 and a lot has changed (technology-wise) over the last few years. You can view the 53 page document here. So what does that mean for Bloggers? Well it means that we have to really disclose, disclose, disclose. If you thought your blog disclosure at the bottom of your post was sufficient enough, it’s no longer the rule.
For clarification purposes: a disclosure is a requirement to a post when you have been sponsored to do something for a brand or shop. Meaning you received product to review, you received services in exchange for doing something for that brand in the form of a post, etc etc etc.
So, how many of you have been putting your disclosure at the tail end of your post??
If you are doing this, you are violating the FTC Guidelines. Your disclosure has to be CLEAR and CONSPICUOUS.
Those are their words. They have a Clear and Conspicuous Requirement for your disclosure. If you want to place your Disclosure at the end (which is NOT recommended..they call it “burying”), you better have arrows and notes scrolling all the way down your page pointing to your disclosure. And stating that those arrows and notes are leading them to your disclosure.
So, where do they say to put your disclosure at the top of your post? They don’t say that in exact terms. Their words are that your disclosure should be as close to your claim (that’s where the Clear and Conspicuous Requirement comes in), not buried in the advertisement, stands out from the rest of your text and before you start hyperlinking to different things.
Also, they have a rule for advertising on the Twitter!! (gasp!) I know, I know…no longer can you hashtag #spon or #ad at the end. You can’t be sneaky. Here’s their example on Page 44 and how they want you to specify that your tweet is advertising:
I highly recommend that if you choose to use an image graphic as your main disclosure information that you also disclose elsewhere in your post. Mobile platforms and hover text (your alt text in your image) can sometimes get lost in translation. So using a graphic solely to disclose your relationship about your paid post (or free product or whatever you were compensated with) is not effective and is not considered a meaningful disclosure. Also, if your disclosures are on separate pages (via mobile), that again is not a meaningful disclosure (aka clear, concise and conspicuous). You do not want a consumer to have to hunt for your disclosure.
So, now that that’s all clear…who’s got questions??? LOL
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