Some of you may have heard about the FTC rules that will be implemented beginning on December 1, 2009. These rules will affect all bloggers, Facebook users and Twitter users. They will also affect anyone who is an affiliate marketing participant.
The rules are trying to make it so that people online that may receive compensation or have received any form of compensation in advance that write a review, summarize a product or anything else for compensation will have to put a disclaimer that they are using the post, article, update for compensation.
The fear lies in the fact that there may be someone who is writing reviews on travel affiliate programs that has never used a travel affiliate program. But when the user goes to the website built for affiliate marketing and clicks through and books a flight or a rental car and the website owner received a piece of the proceeds they will have to put a disclaimer that they will be compensated. For most of us that is a pretty big given. For example, we don’t go to places like Expedia.com and schedule a trip and pay for it and just assume that Expedia is providing the information or service for absolutely no form of compensation. We know that they are making a profit, that’s the way the economy works.
For some publishers online they may receive products, demos or other things from companies without even asking. They may inadvertently write about their use of the product but because they were given the product they will have to disclose that they received compensation. The irony here is that these rules only apply to the Internet. No other media or marketing medium will be under this scrutiny. This is unconstitutional to discriminate between online marketers or writers and say magazines or television. Those who build websites and build an online business should not be discriminated anymore than those that own magazines and distribute them.