By Mikal E. Belicove|For Entrepreneur.com|June 21, 2012
If you’re doing content marketing and reaching out to bloggers and other social-media “influencers,” get ready for more disclosure rules now in the offing.
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association is seeking comment on its updated Social Media Marketing Disclosure Guide before forwarding a final version to the Federal Trade Commission. The guide is meant to help businesses and bloggers comply with the FTC’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
The update, still in draft form, suggests marketers establish an in-house media policy so everyone — advocates, agencies, partners, networks and vendors — knows what the required disclosures entail in order to prevent false or misleading claims.
What’s more, bloggers and other influencers — would need to make sure their relationship with a marketer is publicly disclosed when making statements, reviews or endorsements about that marketer’s product or service.
The proposed policy also recommends prominent placement of disclosures where consumers can readily access the content — not buried deep in the content in a tiny point size — and must be clearly stated.
The intent of the FTC’s guidelines on endorsements and testimonials in advertising is to ensure that consumers know who’s behind the marketing messages they receive online — especially when such messages influence their purchasing decisions. The FTC requires…