Disclose That! Blogger's Guide to Disclosure Laws & Best Practices


Published on

“Disclose That! The Blogger’s Guide to Disclosure Laws and Best Practices” originally presented September 28th as a part of the worldwide Social Media Week conference. This presentation will teach bloggers and other social media professionals about the most important things they should know about existing FTC guidelines and how they apply across all blogsites, social media networks, and online video.

– Why disclosure is essential for professional bloggers and other online content professionals

– Biggest myths and misconceptions bloggers and publishers have about disclosure

– Real-life examples, consequences, and punishments for failing to follow disclosure laws.

– Tips for best practices with disclosure for building trust with your audience.

– Free resources on disclosure laws and best practices, including the report, “Pay Me To Trust You: An Online Marketer’s Guide to The FTC’s Revised Guidelines for Disclosures of Endorsements in Social Media.”

Published in: Education
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Saving all links
  • I am not an attorney. The following information should not be construed as legal advice.
  • Good segue for Andy to explain to the audience how to get familiar with the platform.
  • http://www.stuffjournalistslike.com/2011/11/newsflash-journalists-dont-make-money.html 247wallst.com reported on the seven lowest-paying jobs that require a college education and surprise, surprise, journalism not only made the list but topped it. For the journalist who had Ramen Noodles for lunch and dinner, this comes as no surprise. Journalists don’t do it for the money; we just wish we did. According to the story, first-year reporters can make less than $20,000 a year. Yep, sounds about right. And to rub salt in the wound, “On top of the low wages, many may consider journalism an undesirable field to go into because of diminishing job prospects.”
  • Read it out.
  • But… Problem here? There’s no disclosure in the video, or around the video. What if someone embedded it and shared it?
  • back in February, some were wondering if retailer Ann Taylor's offer of gift cards to bloggers who covered their new line of clothing violated the rules. Apparently, the FTC did take notice, and Michael Scott points us to the news that last month, the FTC decided to give Ann Taylor a one-time pass, though it did express some concerns about the program:
  • I’ve been a professional columnist covering the I’ve covered legal issues since 1998.
  • No disclosure anywhere
  • Where’s the disclosure?
  • It has been over a year since the FTC issued its revisions to the Federal Guidelines Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.  Unfortunately, businesses are still not sure how to properly abide by the new Federal standards and are ignorant of their liability for deceptive advertising. For example, popular apparel company, Ann Taylor, recently received a warning letter from the FTC for its blog-for-gifts program and Legacy Learning Centers coughed up $250,000.00 to settle with the FTC after the FTC filed a formal complaint against the company. “ This month’s seminar at Saper Law seeks to demystify the FTC disclosure rules.  Daliah Saper will first provide an overview of the FTC regulations and then introduce Tom Chernaik, CEO of CMP.LY.   Thanks to CMP.LY it doesn’t need to be complex or difficult for advertisers to ensure that blog posts, Facebook updates and even Tweets meet disclosure obligations under FTC and, soon, FDA, SEC and other regulations.”
  • The FTC guidelines for endorsements and testimonials in advertising say if there is a connection between the endorser and the seller of the product or service, full disclosure is required .
  • Louis Gray.com http://blog.louisgray.com/2009/12/ftc-disclosures-made-simple-for.html Others – writer had expenses paid, writer got travel covered, etc. This is a fun way of doing it, but graphics are not enough it's not very easy to know just how to disclose, and when! That's why, with the help of talented artist Jeannine Schafer (@neenerbot), we prepared a set of FTC disclosure icons that will see you through practically any possible conflict of interest.
  • Disclosure policy example
  • Page disclosure example
  • Page disclosure example
  • Page disclosure example
  • Publication Date: August 9, 2010 | Series: For Dummies (Computers) Establish a successful corporate blog to reach your customers Corporate blogs require careful planning and attention to legal and corporate policies in order for them to be productive and effective. This fun, friendly, and practical guide walks you through using blogging as a first line of communication to customers and explains how to protect your company and employees through privacy, disclosure, and moderation policies. Blogging guru Douglas Karr demonstrates how blogs are an ideal way to offer a conversational and approachable relationship with customers. You’ll discover how to prepare, execute, establish, and promote a corporate blogging strategy so that you can reap the rewards that corporate blogging offers. Shares best practices of corporate blogging, including tricks of the trade, what works, and traps to avoid
  • Includes a video on how to file a complain
  • Saving all links
  • Good segue for Andy to explain to the audience how to get familiar with the platform.
  • Disclose That! Blogger's Guide to Disclosure Laws & Best Practices

    1. 1. Disclose That!Blogger Disclosure Laws & Best Practices September 28, 2012
    2. 2. PanelistsGrant CrowellDigital Strategist and AuthorSara HawkinsAttorney and Social Media SpecialistVantage Consulting
    3. 3. What We’ll Cover…• Blogger Stories• Why have disclosure?• Disclosure Laws• Definitions to know• Examples• What to disclose?• Tips and Resources• Discussion (Q&A!)
    4. 4. Tweet us live!#SMWdisclosure
    5. 5. bit.ly/disclose-that
    6. 6. Legal Disclaimer!
    7. 7. Sponsored by…
    8. 8. Blogger stories
    9. 9. Jeanne CarpenterCheese Geek & Content Marketer
    10. 10. I’m a very ethicalperson. I only endorsecheeses that I trulylike. So I should haveto disclose that I’vedone consulting workfor some of thosecheese companies…. right?
    11. 11. David Meerman ScottAuthor, Speaker, Social Media Expert
    12. 12. However…
    13. 13. Where bloggers are confused• What do disclose?• How to disclose?• What will get me in trouble?• How are others getting away with it?
    14. 14. Where publishers are confused• Don’t think of themselves as advertisers or marketers• Believe they are exempt from FTC disclosure laws• Don’t think that paying guest bloggers requires disclosure• Don’t think that having guest bloggers speak at paid events require disclosure
    15. 15. Where publishers are confused
    16. 16. My story…
    17. 17. FTC, Explained
    18. 18. 2000 Dot Com Disclosures
    19. 19. 2009 Endorsement Guides
    20. 20. 2009 Endorsement Guides
    21. 21. 2010 Endorsement Guides (revised)
    22. 22. Definitions to know
    23. 23. FTC Definitions for Bloggers• Disclosure• “Full Disclosure”• Connection• Endorser• Advertiser• “Clear and Conspicuous”• “Material relationship”
    24. 24. Questions by Bloggers• Who is an “advertiser?”• Who is an “endorser?”• What is free speech vs commercial speech?• Why is unbiased information sometimes not an exception?• What constitutes a “material relationship” that requires disclosure?• How can I include disclosure in things outside of my control?• Why can’t the FTC do a better job going after my competitors?
    25. 25. BIG CONFUSION #1Blogger-Publisher Relationships The FTC considers any material relationship between bloggers and advertisers as a requirement for clear and conspicuous disclosure. Publishers also fall under the category of “advertisers” when their publication engages consumers in commercial transactions as an intended result of their exposure to the bloggers’ content.
    26. 26. BIG CONFUSION #2 Consumer ReviewsThe FTC considers consumer-generated reviewsmade possible through free products provided to them by the manufacturer as commercial speech, and subject to the same disclosure of endorsement guidelines as other advertising.
    27. 27. What todisclose?
    28. 28. HOW todisclose?
    29. 29. What Bloggers Can Do• Have a disclosure policy on your own site• Distinctively emphasize affiliate links in your copy• Request disclosure copy prominently in your guest posts• Consult with legal professionals• Educate your peers
    30. 30. Where bloggers can get help• Better Business Bureau• Watchdog sites• National Small Business Obundsman (sba.gov/obundsman)• National Advertising Review Council’s Electronic Self-Regulating Program• Your State Attorneys General• FTC’s own video clips (and press officer)
    31. 31. bit.ly/disclose-that
    32. 32. Tweet us live!#SMWdisclosure
    33. 33. Sponsored by…
    34. 34. Disclose That!Blogger Disclosure Laws & Best Practices September 28, 2012