December 12, 2017

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

Marketers have to play by the new FTC rules, too

Marketers have to play by the new FTC rules, too

Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission announced new guidelines around disclosure for online endorsements that hits squarely at social media content creators, including bloggers, Twitterers, and Facebookers.

The thrust of the regulations, which go into effect on December 1, is clear: If you’re paid or compensated in kind (such as being sent a free product to review) to talk about a product, service, or experience online, your content must be accompanied by a clear and easy-to-understand disclosure of your relationship with the marketer/advertiser.

But it’s not just the content creators who are on the hook for disclosure; the marketers have legal responsibilities, too, and I break them down in this month’s audio commentary.

Click here to listen

Show Notes

Social Media Business Council SEO Andy Sernovitz has been my guide to understanding the new FTC regulations; here are his three key takeaways for social media marketers:

  1. Disclosure in social media outreach is now required.
  2. Marketers must monitor online conversations about products and services they’ve asked content creators to test and review and correct any misstatements that are made.
  3. Brands and agencies must create policies and training programs for employees and partners that cover the dos and don’ts of working with/compensating social media content creators.

Here are a few other relevant posts on the updated FTC guidelines, all part of my Delicious collection on the topic:

Bryan Person is the social media evangelist at LiveWorld. He blogs at BryanPerson.com and can be found on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/BryanPerson.

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1 Comment

  1. Brian Clark

    Informative post, but strange distinction. When content creators promote things, they *are* marketing. So of course the FTC rules apply to marketers… that’s who they were originally created for. The reason for the recent clarifying guidelines is precisely because bloggers, social networkers, and other content creators have *become* powerful marketers.

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