Unless you have been living under a rock, you would have noticed a lot of talk about the revisions to the 1980 Testimonial and Endorsements rules.
Is The FTC Dropping The Hammer On Affiliate Marketers
The bottom line is this if you are promoting a product or service and receiving a free gift or payment for writing about the product or service you must disclose the fact whether you are an affiliate marketer or not.
The reactions I have seen and read from this have been mixed to say the least but generally this has got to be a good thing in the long run for all concerned.
Matt Cutts from Google considers this to be a very good thing to stamp out the many fake blogs and internet scams that are always in your face online. He believes that this step will make the internet a safer and more trustworthy place for consumers.
Ensuring That You Disclose That This Is A Paid Promotion…
This site already has a disclaimer listed for all to see. See Full Site Disclaimer
The use of our information or any affiliate products and services or information received through any affiliate link which we may or may not receive a commission for on this site should be based on your own due diligence and you agree that affiliatexfiles.com and associates are not liable for any success or failure of your online or offline business and any activities that is directly or indirectly related to the purchase and use of our information or affiliates, products and services.
However after reading the The FTC Revisions which you can get here FTC REVISIONS as a pdf I felt more confused than ever after all I am definitely not a lawyer. So the bottom line is this if you as an affiliate marketer are using deceptive claims on your site to sell products and earn a commission or free gifts (known as “Sponsored Posts”) without disclosing this to the user you could end up with a fine in the area of $11,000.
In saying that I don’t think that they will be that heavy handed and will allow you the chance to change any breaches that have been brought to the FTC‘s attention. And this is the most important aspect “Brought To The FTC’s Attention” that’s right it will be your users that will report you if you are prepared to lie to them and market products that really can’t help or solve their problem.
The FTC Are Looking For Deceptive Practices
If you are using testimonials or endorsements on your site and the results are not typical of everybody who users that product, then remove it. After all how many people do you actually think believe the testimonial they are reading, in my experience not to many.
Should You Be Worried As An Affiliate Marketer?
If you are using deceptive practices to lure consumers to purchase through your affiliate links by supplying false or misleading information in the form of Testimonials and Endorsements then “YES” be very worried. However if you are going to be honest and open about your activities you should have a long a prosperous affiliate marketing career by staying inside the FTC guidelines.
The sad fact of the matter in my opinion only, is that to many government bodies are removing the responsibility of the consumer and even the individual to except responsibility for his or her actions. Now if the product does not perform to that persons standards then they may have a case to report to the FTC.
In my experience selling online only about 5% of people actually “Take Action” on a product or service they have purchased and actually see results that were endorsed and the rest just say it doesn’t work because it was to much effort to actually sit down and use the product or service. That is why 1% of the worlds population have 99% of the worlds wealth.