06 October 2009

Transparency, Honesty and Disclosure

Independent bloggers who fail to disclose paid reviews or freebies may face up to $11,000 in fines from the Federal Trade Commission, according to revisions to the agency's Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising published Monday.

View Press Release : FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials

The FTC will be watching celebrities, as well. Celebrities will have to disclose their relationships with advertisers when making endorsements outside traditional advertising venues.

Download your copy of the FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (PDF, 81 pages), by clicking here or using the link above.

A couple of years ago, disclosure was a buzz word in the blogosphere. Bloggers who wrote sponsored posts or paid reviews, gave testimonials for or reviewed products were called to disclose. If you are not aware of the importance of transparency and honesty in advertising, you should read the summary of the document by FTC. After all, it did take almost 30 years for the FTC to amend them.

If want help with disclosure, you could use my disclosure policy as a draft, and change it up or generate another one. Something that I have added to all my blogs is my personal blogging ethics, based on Word of Mouth Marketing (WOM) Guidelines. View my blogging ethics here.

Transparency, Honesty and Disclosure are the best way to conduct business. If you use your blog or website to generate revenue, let your readers know.


Lilli said...

I do agree that people who can influence other people, in this case bloggers and celebrities, should be more honest when it comes to advertising.

Mandy said...

That is really interesting! Everything I do is on an amateur level but perhaps it would be best to disclose on my book and film review blog that I do it for the love of it, not for any gain!

(Or maybe I should just be honest and say that I do it for the comments :) )

Outdoor Lighting said...

Seems to be interesting. There should be honesty in case of advertising.

Rhonda said...

Seems like with such a grand fine internet marketers had best adhere to the guidelines.

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