The world of blogging and social media is changing rapidly every day. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep up with it all. For bloggers that partner with brands, there are new disclosure guidelines set forth by the FTC.
What do these changes mean for you, as a blogger? It may require a few simple updates to the way that you present reviews and sponsored content on your blog/ website and other social media networking platforms.
The FTC released “.com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising”, in March 2013. This new guide outlines what it means to properly disclose in all relevant digital media in regards to the promotion of products [sponsored and/or advertised online]. For bloggers this applies to sponsored posts [where a product/compensation has been provided] and any subsequent social media promotion of the content [via social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc.]
If your a Blogger or if you work in Social Media Marketing, you should definitely check out the new guide.
Here are a few tips on how to remain compliant with the new FTC disclosure guidelines :
1. Blog Posts: Proper disclosures should be included in all blog posts and placed before a link or hyperlink. This means placing your written disclosure (not a link to a disclosure page) before relevant brand links, in your blog posts.
- For example, you can start a post with an official disclosure statement or you can simply mention in the beginning of your post that your post has been sponsored or that you received the item for review. [See example #21 on page A-25 in the FTC Guidelines.]
2. Properly Label Hyperlinks: Readers should be able to tell what they are clicking on by the word attached to the hyperlink.
3. Social Media Accounts - Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram – All have very little space to indicate that you are participating in a product promotion. Adding the word “sponsored” will meet FTC guidelines. [See example #17 on page A-20 in the FTC Guidelines.]
4. Video/Audio: Audio clips should indicate sponsorship verbally. Video clips should include verbal and/or obvious visual cues indicating sponsorship.
5. Clear and Understandable Disclosures: Readers need to understand what you are saying. (for example “I recently received [_____] for review . . . .” Or “Disclosure: I received [______] for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.")
Fore more on the new disclosure guide from the FTC, ".com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising " visit: