FTC	  Guidelines	  Overview:	  	  How	  it	  Impacts	  PR	  and	  the	  Blogger	  World	                       Sarah	  Eva...
Disclose.	  Disclose.	  Disclose.	    Official	  FTC	  Media	  Release:	  h2p://www.7c.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm	  	  #...
Why?	    •  It’s	  the	  right	  thing	  to	  do	    •  You	  want	  readers,	  brands	  and	  consumers	  to	       trust...
Top	  3	  Takeaways	  #BBsummit11	       www.sevansstrategy.com	     @PRsarahevans	  
AdverHsements	  that	  feature	  a	        consumer	  and	  convey	  his	  or	  her	    experience	  with	  a	  product	  ...
If	  a	  company	  refers	  in	  an	  adverHsement	                 to	  the	  findings	  of	  a	  research	      organizaH...
A	  post	  by	  a	  blogger	  who	  receives	  cash	   or	  in-­‐kind	  payment	  to	  review	  a	  product	          is	 ...
“The	  FTC	  guidelines	  are	  about	         decepKve	  pracKces	  in	  which	  what	        appears	  to	  be	  an	  ho...
TOOL:	  FTC	  Online	  Endorsement	               Guidelines	  Quick	  Overview	       hVp://www.slideshare.net/PRsaraheva...
On	  behalf	  of	  the	  brand…	    •  It’s	  the	  brand	  or	  adverHser’s	  responsibility	  to	       inform	  campaig...
TUDYCASES                         Ann	  Taylor	  LOFT	   To	  promote	  the	  launch	  of	  its	  summer	  collecHon,	  An...
In	  small	  print	  on	  the	  invitaHon:	  	  "Please	  note	  all	  bloggers	  must	  post	  coverage	  from	  our	    ...
“We	  were	  concerned	  that	  bloggers	  who	   aLended	  a	  preview	  on	  January	  26,	  2010	   failed	  to	  discl...
The	  ResoluCon?	    •  The	  FTC	  ulHmately	  determined	  not	  to	       recommend	  an	  enforcement	  acHon,	  becau...
On	  behalf	  of	  the	  blogger…	    •  It’s	  the	  brand	  or	  adverHser’s	  responsibility	  to	       inform	  you.	...
Example	  of	  Blogger	  Ambassador	  Program:	                         Typical	  “Asks”	    •  Get	  the	  tools.	  Purch...
As	  a	  blogger	  you	  should	  	                      have	  the	  following:	    •  Disclosure	  policy	  on	  blog	  ...
An	  exciHng	  round	  of	  #True	  or	  #False.	  #BBsummit11	         www.sevansstrategy.com	      @PRsarahevans	  
True	  or	  False?	       A	  comprehensive	  online	  disclosure	  policy	              on	  your	  website	  fully	  cov...
FALSE	  #BBsummit11	     www.sevansstrategy.com	     @PRsarahevans	  
Tweet-­‐ready	  You	  must	  disclose	  your	  affiliaHon	  with	  a	  company	    or	  product	  on	  your	  site	  and	  s...
True	  or	  False?	       If	  a	  restaurant	  “comps”	  you	  a	  meal	  without	  you	  asking	              for	  it	 ...
FALSE	  #BBsummit11	     www.sevansstrategy.com	     @PRsarahevans	  
True	  or	  False?	        Adding	  the	  hashtag	  #spon	  to	  your	  tweet	  covers	  the	      acknowledgement	  that	...
TRUE	  #BBsummit11	     www.sevansstrategy.com	     @PRsarahevans	  
A	  Few	  Guidelines	  Official	  WOMMA	  Guidelines	              Others	  •  #spon	  –	  Sponsored	  	             •  #ad	...
Incorporated	  hashtag	                                                 into	  Google+	  #BBsummit11	     www.sevansstrate...
True	  or	  False?	             Bloggers	  not	  in	  compliance	  with	          guidelines	  may	  be	  fined	  up	  to	 ...
FALSE	  #BBsummit11	     www.sevansstrategy.com	     @PRsarahevans	  
There	  is	  no	  fine	  for	  bloggers	  for	  not	         complying	  with	  an	  FTC	  guide.	  #BBsummit11	           ...
True	  or	  False?	          You	  do	  need	  to	  disclose	  if	  you	  review	  a	       product	  and	  then	  returne...
DEPENDS	  #BBsummit11	     www.sevansstrategy.com	     @PRsarahevans	  
In	  this	  instance,	  yes:	  If	  you	  are	  given	  the	  use	  of	  a	  product	  for	  an	  extended	        amount	...
Disclosure	  Policy	                                                Example	  for	  blog	  or	  website	   This	  policy	 ...
TOOL:	  DisclosurePolicy.org	                    hVp://disclosurepolicy.org/generator/generate_policy	  #BBsummit11	      ...
True	  or	  False?	  	                                 PracCcal	  example.	      A	  company	  with	  a	  new	  app	  hire...
FALSE	  #BBsummit11	     www.sevansstrategy.com	     @PRsarahevans	  
TOOLS	    •    Comp.ly	    •    WOMMA	    •    DisclosurePolicy.Org	    •    FTC	  #BBsummit11	         www.sevansstrategy...
FTC	  Resources	    •  Specific	  quesHons:	  Email:	       endorsements@Yc.gov	    •  Revised	  Guides	  offer	  more	  tha...
QuesHons?	  	  #BBsummit11	     www.sevansstrategy.com	     @PRsarahevans	  
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FTC Guidelines Overview: How it Impacts PR, Brands and Bloggers


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  • Hey Sarah, nice presentation. Quick question: the disclosure example you show on slide 27 features the endorsement of a non-profit organization, not a product or service being sold to consumers.

    Have you ever seen the FTC applying its guidelines or rules to the endorsement of a nonprofit organization or cause?
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  • Hi Sarah!

    Thank you for mentioning CMP.LY in your presentation. We are working hard to lessen the burden of this challenge for bloggers and brands alike, and we appreciate advocates of truth in social media just like yourself. I have just one request - please update our URL in your presentation. We do not have an 'O' in our name - it's just CMP.LY.

    Thank you!
    Kirsten Gronberg
    Community Manager at CMP.LY
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FTC Guidelines Overview: How it Impacts PR, Brands and Bloggers

  1. 1. FTC  Guidelines  Overview:    How  it  Impacts  PR  and  the  Blogger  World   Sarah  Evans   @PRsarahevans   sarah@sevansstrategy.com   www.sevansstrategy.com    
  2. 2. Disclose.  Disclose.  Disclose.   Official  FTC  Media  Release:  h2p://www.7c.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm    #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  3. 3. Why?   •  It’s  the  right  thing  to  do   •  You  want  readers,  brands  and  consumers  to   trust  you  (as  a  blogger  or  a  business)   •  If  you’re  the  “owner”  of  the  brand  or  business,   you’re  ulHmately  responsible  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  4. 4. Top  3  Takeaways  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  5. 5. AdverHsements  that  feature  a   consumer  and  convey  his  or  her   experience  with  a  product  or  service  as   “typical”  are  required  to  disclose  the   results  consumers  can  generally  expect   What  does  that  mean?  Endorsements  must  be  truthful,  not  misleading.  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  6. 6. If  a  company  refers  in  an  adverHsement   to  the  findings  of  a  research   organizaHon  that  conducted  research   sponsored  by  the  company,  the   adverHsement  must  disclose  the   connecCon  between  both.  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  7. 7. A  post  by  a  blogger  who  receives  cash   or  in-­‐kind  payment  to  review  a  product   is  considered  an  endorsement.  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  8. 8. “The  FTC  guidelines  are  about   decepKve  pracKces  in  which  what   appears  to  be  an  honest  opinion  is,  in   fact,  a  biased  perspecKve.”   –  Joe  Chernov  (@jchernov),  co-­‐chair,  WOMMA  Ethics  CommiVee  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  9. 9. TOOL:  FTC  Online  Endorsement   Guidelines  Quick  Overview   hVp://www.slideshare.net/PRsarahevans/Yc-­‐overview-­‐for-­‐online-­‐endorsements    #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  10. 10. On  behalf  of  the  brand…   •  It’s  the  brand  or  adverHser’s  responsibility  to   inform  campaign  parHcipants.  UlHmately,  YOU   are  responsible.  Explain  to  members  of  your   network  what  can  –  and  can’t  –  be  said  about  the   product;   •  Set  up  a  reasonable  monitoring  program  to  check   out  what  your  people  are  saying  about  your   product;  and   •  Be  proacHve.  Follow  up  if  you  find     quesHonable  pracHces.  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  11. 11. TUDYCASES Ann  Taylor  LOFT   To  promote  the  launch  of  its  summer  collecHon,  Ann  Taylor   LOFT  invited  bloggers  to  aVend  an  exclusive  preview  of  its  2010  summer  collecHon.  "Bloggers  who  aVend  will  receive  a   special  giY,"  the  invitaHon  read,  "and  those  who  post  coverage  from  the  event  will  be  entered  in  a  mystery  giY  card   drawing  where  you  can  win  up  to  $500  at  LOFT!"    
  12. 12. In  small  print  on  the  invitaHon:    "Please  note  all  bloggers  must  post  coverage  from  our   event  to  their  blog  within  24  hours  in  order  to  be  eligible.  Links  to  post  must  be  sent  to  [e-­‐mail  address],   along  with  the  code  on  the  back  of  your  giY  card   distributed  to  you  at  the  event.  You  will  be  noHfied  of  your  giY  card  amount  by  February  2.  GiY  card  amounts   will  vary  from  $10  to  $500."      
  13. 13. “We  were  concerned  that  bloggers  who   aLended  a  preview  on  January  26,  2010   failed  to  disclose  that  they  received  giYs  for  posHng  blog  content  about  that  event,”   Mary  Engle,  the  FTC’s  associate  director-­‐ adverHsing  pracHces,   wrote  in  a  leVer  dated  April  20  to  Ann   Taylor’s  legal  representaHon.    
  14. 14. The  ResoluCon?   •  The  FTC  ulHmately  determined  not  to   recommend  an  enforcement  acHon,  because,  in   part  ‘LOFT  adopted  a  wriVen  policy  .  .  .  staHng   that  LOFT  will  not  issue  any  giY  to  any  blogger   without  first  telling  the  blogger  that  the  blogger   must  disclose  the  giY  in  his  or  her  blog.’     •  They  expect  the  company  to  monitor  bloggers’   compliance  with  the  obligaHon  to  disclose  giYs   they  receive  from  LOFT.”  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  15. 15. On  behalf  of  the  blogger…   •  It’s  the  brand  or  adverHser’s  responsibility  to   inform  you.  However,  it’s  your  responsibility  to   familiarize  yourself  with  online  endorsement   guidelines.   •  Set  up  an  online  disclosure  policy  page  on   your  site  and  refer  to  disclosures  when  talking   about  the  product(s).     •  Be  proacHve.  Push  back  on  the  brand  if  you   have  quesHons.  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  16. 16. Example  of  Blogger  Ambassador  Program:   Typical  “Asks”   •  Get  the  tools.  Purchase/use/download  product.   •  Join  the  Ambassador  Program  for  a  period  of  <insert  Hme   frame>.   •  Use  our  product.  Use  the  product  and  document  your   experience.     •  Create  content.  Post  a  blog  or  vlog  review  of  product  on   your  blog  or  website  (disclose  compensaHon)   •  Social  sharing  of  the  review  post,  including:  at  least  one   tweet  and  one  share  on  Facebook  (disclose  compensaHon)   •  Follow  brand  TwiVer  account   •  Like  brand  Facebook  page  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  17. 17. As  a  blogger  you  should     have  the  following:   •  Disclosure  policy  on  blog  or  website     •  Disclosures  you  use  when  sharing  informaHon   on  social  networks   •  DocumentaHon  of  your  partnership  with  the   brand     Don’t  worry,  I’ll  show  you  what  these  look  like.  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  18. 18. An  exciHng  round  of  #True  or  #False.  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  19. 19. True  or  False?   A  comprehensive  online  disclosure  policy   on  your  website  fully  covers  you.  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  20. 20. FALSE  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  21. 21. Tweet-­‐ready  You  must  disclose  your  affiliaHon  with  a  company   or  product  on  your  site  and  social  networks.   #BBsummit11  #FTC  via  @PRsarahevans  
  22. 22. True  or  False?   If  a  restaurant  “comps”  you  a  meal  without  you  asking   for  it  and  you  write  about  them,  you  don’t  need     to  disclose.  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  23. 23. FALSE  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  24. 24. True  or  False?   Adding  the  hashtag  #spon  to  your  tweet  covers  the   acknowledgement  that  you  were  compensated  in  some   way  for  your  post.  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  25. 25. TRUE  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  26. 26. A  Few  Guidelines  Official  WOMMA  Guidelines   Others  •  #spon  –  Sponsored     •  #ad  •  #paid  –  Paid     •  #client  •  #samp  –  Sample   •  #advisoryboard   More  info  here:    
  27. 27. Incorporated  hashtag   into  Google+  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  28. 28. True  or  False?   Bloggers  not  in  compliance  with   guidelines  may  be  fined  up  to  $11,000.  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  29. 29. FALSE  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  30. 30. There  is  no  fine  for  bloggers  for  not   complying  with  an  FTC  guide.  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  31. 31. True  or  False?   You  do  need  to  disclose  if  you  review  a   product  and  then  returned  it  to  the  business.  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  32. 32. DEPENDS  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  33. 33. In  this  instance,  yes:  If  you  are  given  the  use  of  a  product  for  an  extended   amount  of  Hme  you  should  disclose:  1)  That  you  were  given  the  product;  2)  How  long  you  were  given   the  product;  and  3)  You  returned  the  product.  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  34. 34. Disclosure  Policy   Example  for  blog  or  website   This  policy  is  valid  from  July  14,  2011   This  blog  is  a  personal  blog  wri2en  and  edited  by  me.  For  quesKons  about  this  blog,  contact  <insert   your  email  address>.   This  blog  does  not  accept  any  form  of  cash  adverKsing,  sponsorship  or  paid  topics.  However,  we  will   and  do  accept  and  keep  free  products,  services,  travel,  event  Kckets  and  other  forms  of  compensaKon   from  companies  and  organizaKons.     The  owner(s)  of  this  blog  will  never  receive  compensaKon  in  any  way  from  this  blog.   This  blog  does  contain  content  which  might  present  a  conflict  of  interest.  This  content  may  not  always   be  idenKfied.  We  are  employed  or  consult  with:  Company  1,  Company  2,  etc…  We  serve  on  the   following  corporate  or  non  profit  boards:  Example  1,  Example  2,  etc…  We  are  acKve  in  a  poliKcal   party  which  influences  our  blog:  AffiliaKon  1.  We  blog  about  people  to  whom  we  are  related.  These   people  include:  My  mom  (name).  We  have  a  financial  interest  in  the  following  that  are  relevant  to  our   blogging:  Investment  1.  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  35. 35. TOOL:  DisclosurePolicy.org   hVp://disclosurepolicy.org/generator/generate_policy  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  36. 36. True  or  False?     PracCcal  example.   A  company  with  a  new  app  hires  you  as  part  of  an  ambassador   program.  As  part  of  your  requirements  they  ask  you  to  submit  a   posiHve  review  in  an  app  store  along  with  “posiHve  comments.”   If  you  use  the  app  and  like  it  you  do  not  have  to  disclose     you  were  compensated.  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  37. 37. FALSE  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  38. 38. TOOLS   •  Comp.ly   •  WOMMA   •  DisclosurePolicy.Org   •  FTC  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  39. 39. FTC  Resources   •  Specific  quesHons:  Email:   endorsements@Yc.gov   •  Revised  Guides  offer  more  than  35  examples   of  how  guidelines  apply  in  pracHcal  sesngs   •  To-­‐the-­‐point  video  clips   •  To  file  a  complaint  or  get   free  informaHon  on  consumer  issues,  visit   Yc.gov  or  call  toll-­‐free,  1-­‐877-­‐FTC-­‐HELP   (1-­‐877-­‐382-­‐4357)  #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
  40. 40. QuesHons?    #BBsummit11   www.sevansstrategy.com   @PRsarahevans  
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