AB #448 | Advertisers and Affiliates; Save Yourself a World of Hurt By Understanding the Right Way to Disclose an Affiliate Relationship

Welcome to another edition of The Affiliate Buzz, where affiliate marketers have been coming to be inspired, informed and motivated to succeed since way back in 2003. Arlene is away today, but James has two guests with him to discuss what affiliates and advertisers can do to save themselves from world of hurt from the FTC. by understanding the right way to disclose an Affiliate relationship.

Eric Nagel is Chief Technical Officer of F-M-T-C which offers suite of powerful tools for affiliates and bloggers that allows them to easily tap into over 200,000 monetized, cleaned and categorized deals.

Preston Holland is Director of Business Development for BrandVerity. BrandVerity provides services that protect brands and ensure that their marketing partners are on-brand and compliant. They also just one the Tool of the Year award at Affiliate Summit.

In fact, Eric and Preston have both just returned from Affiliate Summit West and will share their highlights before digging into the particulars of FTC disclosures.

Why now?

The FTC Guidelines have been around for a while. Why are we hearing so much about them now? And why are so many, the vast majority according to research by BrandVerity, sites that are out of compliance? Many publishers simply don’t realize that rules apply to them. Advertisers too have been a little bit slack about having their affiliates reveal the relationship.

Here’s the bottom line. Honesty is the best policy. A clear, concise statement, acknowledging that you may receive money or products from companies mentioned in your post will ensure that you’re in compliance.

What won’t work? All those silly tricks – putting the disclosure at the very end of your post or bottom of your page so that the client won’t see it until after they’ve clicked on your links. Or putting your disclosure in light grey on a white background. Or using a microscopic font.

The good news is that being honest and straight forward doesn’t just cover your butt with the FTC. It can actually be done in such a way that it doesn’t have a negative impact on your conversion rate.

Here’s What You’ll Hear

Listen now as Eric, Preston and James explain:

  • What the FTC requires affiliates to disclose
  • Understanding the right way to disclose an Affiliate relationship
  • Why affiliates need to disclose affiliate links and what other things need to be disclosed
  • Where and how to disclose an affiliate relationship, including some concise wording from Eric
  • What the risk is if you fail to comply with the FTC guidelines
  • A free WordPress plug-in that will add a discloser to all of your posts (past and present)

Resources

Although they’re not lawyers, Eric and Preston have a lot of good resources to share on the subject of FTC compliance:

BrandVerity’s White Paper (including a compliance checklist)
Tricia Meyer’s resources on FTC compliance
The WordPress plug-in that adds disclosure language to all of your posts

If you’d like to hear more from Eric or Preston, you can find them at:
Preston@BrandVerity.com
Eric@fmtc.co or on Twitter @EricNagel

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