In 2009, the FTC published disclosure guidelines for bloggers, with the intent of protecting consumers. I’m not a legal expert and won’t pretend to understand all the legal issues related to the FTC decision, however, I will say that if you are blogging and receiving any type of compensation as a blogger (products, money, trips, paid reviews, etc.), you need to make sure you disclose that information to your readers.
Here are a few resources that might be helpful:
- DisclosurePolicy.org provides a disclosure generator which asks you a series of questions about your blog and then produces a document you can use as your own disclosure policy.
- DisclosurePolicy.org‘s blog has some quick videos that explain the policy in layman’s terms.
- Here’s a helpful slideshow by WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) that talks about disclosure and best practices not only on blogs, but other places like Twitter and Facebook.
- In addition, other bloggers have written great posts on the subject too, like here and here.
Kate asked whether or not you have to include a disclosure link at the end of each post or just have one general policy available site-wide.
I’m not seeing anything that says you have to disclose everything in every post, however, I have noticed many bloggers make a point of identifying affiliate links or mentioning a product they received for free. I think it’s certainly better to be honest and forthright whenever possible. What do you think?
What disclosure practices have you adopted and what resources have you found helpful?