If you are a podcaster or blogger with an advertiser or a show sponsor, you need to be prepared for the the new FTC rules coming into effect in December 2009. If you do not comply with their demands, they could fine you $11,000 per failure to disclose a paid endorsement! That's right, they will find you $11,000 for not letting your subscribers know you are being paid to talk about a sponsor!
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued revised Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising to include blog posts, word of mouth campaigns and even twitter messages. These revised rules take effect on December 1, 2009 but, until today, there was no established structure or format for disclosures to follow. "Given that social media has become such a significant player in the advertising area, we thought it was necessary to address social media as well," said Richard Cleland, assistant director for the division of advertising practices at the FTC. So what are we to do? Enter CMP.LY.
What is CMP.LY?
CMP.LY is a web service created in response to a continued push for transparency and honesty in blogging and within social media. According to their website, CMP.ly disclosures follow a standard naming convention that is easy for readers to understand and can be used for disclosures in print, online, SMS, tweets or other digital communications.
While you could just come up with a standardized way to mention that your episode, show or blog post was part of a sponsorship, CMP.LY provides a clear, simple way to repeatedly offer disclosures for your content.
The 6 Levels of Disclosure:
CMP.LY Disclosure 0
No connection, unpaid, my own opinions
CMP.LY Disclosure 1
Based upon a review copy
CMP.LY Disclosure 2
Given a sample by vendor/agency/brand
CMP.LY Disclosure 3
Paid post – cash payment or other compensation
CMP.LY Disclosure 4
CMP.LY Disclosure 5
What Will it Look Like in My Blog Post?
The following is all you need to do (or simply provide a link) any time you need to disclose information.
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: http://cmp.ly/0
Below is what the landing page looks like when you click on the link.
Hopefully you have all read up on your rights, and your requirements, for what you will need to be doing leading into the month of December.