Update on FTC Disclosure Rules For Sponsored Posts
Several years ago, the FTC issued some updated guidelines for influencers, bloggers, and sponsors regarding sponsored posts. The rules were not terribly specific, but the intent was clear. If a post is sponsored, it must be clear to a reader that the post is sponsored. I wrote a blog post about at the time and you can read about it here.
Apparently, some people didn’t get the memo or at least are pretending that they didn’t get the memo.
Now, the FTC has issued additional guidance and a pretty stern warning. They also sent out warning letters to more than 90 potential offenders. You can read the new FTC guidelines here. Basically, if there is a “material connection” between an endorser and an advertiser – in other words, a connection that might affect the weight or credibility that consumers give the endorsement – the connection should be clearly and conspicuously disclosed. A “material connection” could be a business or family relationship, monetary payment, or the gift of a free product.
What Does It Mean?
The bottom line is pretty simple, you must make the relationship between sponsor and influencer CLEAR to the reader.So, if you are still skirting the rules, STOP!
Remember – Be Smart. Be Legal.
Disclaimer – Yes, I’m a lawyer, but I’m not your lawyer. All information in this post is provided for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice for any person or specific situation.
Peter Heise says
We’ll see what the FTC is really able to do about the offenders. Will they shut down the site? Probably not. Will they send a ticket? Not if they can’t find the address. An email maybe? Otherwise these are just empty threats…
Thanks for your comment. Perhaps some information might be useful. The FTC won’t necessarily go after the blogger. They will, however, go after the sponsor. If you’re posting a blog that is going to get your sponsor in trouble with the FTC, you won’t have many sponsors.