Courting Bloggers to Tout Your Products? Get Ready for More Content Marketing Disclosures
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association is seeking comment on its updated Social Media Marketing Disclosure Guide before forwarding a final version to the Federal Trade Commission. The guide is meant to help businesses and bloggers comply with the FTC's Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
The update, still in draft form, suggests marketers establish an in-house media policy so everyone -- advocates, agencies, partners, networks and vendors -- knows what the required disclosures entail in order to prevent false or misleading claims.
What's more, bloggers and other influencers -- would need to make sure their relationship with a marketer is publicly disclosed when making statements, reviews or endorsements about that marketer’s product or service.
The proposed policy also recommends prominent placement of disclosures where consumers can readily access the content -- not buried deep in the content in a tiny point size -- and must be clearly stated.
The intent of the FTC’s guidelines on endorsements and testimonials in advertising is to ensure that consumers know who’s behind the marketing messages they receive online -- especially when such messages influence their purchasing decisions. The FTC requires both marketers (the advertisers) and advocates (those touting the product) to disclose any connections they may have among themselves. And that includes compensation in the form of money, gifts, loaner products, privileges, discounts and other considerations.
The update also extends its guidance beyond the usual social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to a variety of other outlets, including:
- video-sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo
- photo-sharing websites such as Flickr, Picasa and Pinterest
- curated-content service providers such as Storify.com, Paper.li and Scoop.it
- sponsored content
- affiliate networks
- referral networks
Related: BlogFrog and the Power of Moms
Corrections & Amplifications: An earlier version of this post misstated where comments on the draft should be directed. They can be posted to this Word of Mouth blog page.
Entrepreneur Editors' Picks
Formerly Enslaved Black Man Nearest Green Taught Jack Daniel Everything He Knew About Whiskey. Today, the Founder of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey Celebrates His Legacy.
Leadership Lessons From the Exclusive Creativity School That 'Packs 5 Years Learning Into 5 Days'
3 Expert-Backed Strategies for Staying Calm in Times of Confrontation
The CEO of Wayfair Has Helped Revolutionize Digital Shopping for 20 Years. Here's How He Handles Rocky Economic Conditions.
This Founder Went to Prison When He Was 15 Years Old. That's Where He Came Up With the Idea for a Company Now Backed By John Legend.
3 Signs You're Letting Pride Get in the Way of Being Successful
Chip and Joanna Gaines and Shonda Rhimes Found Incredible Success By Using This One Entrepreneurial Strategy. Here's How You Can Too.