There’s been plenty of discussion about the new FTC Marketing Guidelines. Some people are concerned (to put it mildly), others are not. Many should be busy cleaning up their sites or adding overdue disclosures. To me the rules get a “Hurrah!” even though they apply in the US (The FTC has no jurisdiction outside the States as far as I am aware).
Anything that encourages transparency and reduces the “scammy” aspect of online marketing is a major plus. With promises of instant riches, overnight success and no work needed (seemingly now even social media can make you a millionaire with a couple of thousand followers) hype, and smoke and mirrors - internet marketing unfortunately has a rather stinky rap.
The Internet is a marvellous medium to do business. Social media has extended our ability to reach new audiences. But there is nothing instant or overnight about making money or being successful. Regardless of the hype, the fundamental rules of doing business successfully prevail. Regardless of the hype.
If you’re interested in the FTC Marketing Guidelines here is an interesting blog post you might want to read. it breaks down the top 5 things you need to know regarding claims, testimonials, endorsements, affiliate compensation and Advertiser’s responsibilities. It’s not meant to be legal advice, but it does make a practical read.
You can download the FTC Marketing Guidelines yourself from the FTC site. They’ve some good illustrative examples, so again a good practical read. And even if you don’t need them yourself they could be useful when talking to clients.
Basically you can sum up the rules into a one-liner… if you’re being compensated for what you’re writing about you should be saying so.