While I am an attorney, I am not your attorney. Nothing in this post shall be construed as giving, offering or providing legal advice, legal review or legal analysis. You should contact an attorney with assistance in understanding the FTC Rules and how it applies to your blog or business.
In my recent post about how the new FTC Guidelines affect Bloggers, I mentioned that Bloggers must now (1) disclose sponsored posts or paid content in ANY social media mentions, (2) be upfront in their disclosures, and (3) make sure disclosures travel with them. If you haven’t read that post yet, you can find it here.
New FTC Guidelines for Bloggers
The good news in all of this, is that you can determine if you want your Disclosure to be organic or static. For example, you could say “Disclosure: I received payment for this post” at the beginning of your blog article, or be conversational in the opening paragraph of your post, like “Yesterday, I started using the free blender that ABC company gave to me to review, and so far I love it.” The FTC doesn’t care about the actual words you use in your posts, videos, tweets, so long as the words you do use are clear and conspicuous (spelled out, upfront) that this was a paid review, sponsored post, an Ad, paid tweet, sponsored video, etc.
Bad news is that you really have to be careful what you say in your review. For example, I could say in my post, “I loved using this face cream. I had to look great for my 20th high school reunion, and in two weeks, it made my skin younger!” If I did say that, I would be in FTC trouble. What I should say is, “I loved this face cream. I had to look great for my 20th high school reunion and in two weeks (though typical results are seen around 6 weeks), it made my skin look younger.
The gist of all of this?
While the FTC is telling you the parameters to comply, they are still leaving it up to you to determine what language works for you. So while you need to clearly and conspicuously disclose, you get to determine what to say. Yet, what you say in your content is important too. You need to ensure that you are not misleading your readers in believing in a feature, or a result, that doesn’t exist or occur, in a product you are reviewing or giving away.
Lots to digest, but there are three additionally unique circumstances that I thought I should mention, and that is (1) how liable you are for the retweets, (2) how this applies to Twitter parties, and (3) how this applies to Pinterest. If you are interested in my thoughts, keep reading.
While I am an attorney, I am not your attorney. Nothing in this post shall be construed as
giving, offering or providing legal advice, legal review or legal analysis. You should
contact an attorney with assistance in understanding the FTC Rules and how it applies to your
blog or business.
Note, this is brand new information that is still being processed by a lot of people. It is unclear if you have to go back to amend posts. Even I am learning about the scope of the changes every day and will continue to update my blog and social media extensions as the information becomes known, shared and understood.