Content Marketing for the Outdoor Industry

FTC Guidelines on Endorsements and Product Reviews

05.18.11 Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Blogging Best Practices, Public Relations by

One excellent way to get backlinks to your site and grow your audience is to provide outdoor bloggers with product samples that they can review and write about.

Sounds easy, but you want to make sure that the bloggers you are working with understand the Federal Trade Commission’s New Transparency Rules for Endorsements. In the United States, bloggers need to disclose that they have a relationship with you if you give them products or compensate them in any way for the review.

While the chances of a blogger being prosecuted by the FTC are probably pretty low, I think it’s important for you to ensure that the bloggers you work with adhere to the FTC standards. Your audience will appreciate it. They are not stupid and they’ll react badly if they feel like they’ve been duped by a marketing program.

If you are working with bloggers or web sites that are unaware of these new regulations, it might be useful if you suggested that they include something like this piece of text at the end of their review: “Disclosure: +MyCompany+ gave +blogname+ a complementary +ProductOrService+ to review.” It’s that simple. .

If a blogger or reviewer you’re working with objects to including this disclosure statement or something like it, explain to them how including it will strengthen their integrity with their audience, not diminish it. If they still object, you’re probably better off finding another venue that cares more their audience’s welfare than whatever profits they can make from giving your product or service a glowing endorsement.

For more information about the FTC Guideline on Product Endorsements:

FTC’s Revised Endorsement Guide FAQ

What the Endorsement Guidelines Mean for Bloggers

If you have any questions about this issue, please leave a comment.

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