The FTC has set out Guidelines for Endorsements and Affiliate Disclosures. And this article will help to answer any questions you may have.
It’s a complex document and you should definitely read it and understand the rules before you embark on your affiliate marketing venture.
“Although there are no fines for violations of the FTC Act, law enforcement actions can result in orders requiring the defendants in the case to give up money they received from their violations.”
Your affiliate disclosure doesn’t have to be a long, complicated legal document. Just a few simple words can get the message across e.g. “This page may contain ads and affiliate links.”
You can even use the word “Ad” or “#ad” in a tweet to let people know that it’s an advertisement.
Affiliate Disclosure Placement
Because over 60% of internet browsing is done using a mobile device a disclosure in the sidebar may not be enough. The disclosure should be before or close to the actual affiliate link. Sidebars appear below the main text on mobile devices so any affiliate links in the main body will appear before the sidebar disclosure.
The important thing is to be transparent in all your marketing. If you receive compensation of any sort for endorsing a product or service then you’ll want to disclose that. “The company gave me this product to try but this is my unbiased opinion.”
Your reputation is on the line. So don’t endorse or recommend any product or service that you don’t want to have associated with your name or website. Having said that, it’s OK to have an affiliate link for a product you don’t recommend. You can mention a product without giving it your endorsement. Some people will buy it nevertheless so you may as well get a commission for the sale.
Are you using affiliate disclosures on your website? What wording have you used?
Please scroll down for comments.