I Just received this comment on my WA Review via my website (http://firedordenied.com/a-wealthy-affiliate-revie... )....

...and I need help in figuring out the "proper verbiage" to be used to proclaim on all my pages and posts that I am an affiliate of these products/services and I make a commission from them....if this is in fact an FCC Guideline.

Here's the comment that was just left on my site.....



And no mention of your affiliate links? To whit:
http://www.wealthyaffiliate.com/a_aid/5385ca02

You’re violating FCC guidelines by not stating your affiliate links.

Better fix that by telling people that this is an affiliate link filled advertorial for WA.



I tried searching WA's database for an answer but couldn't find anything specific. Please Help! Thank you!


All The Best,

Jeremy Wilson

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Mike-Writes Premium
Here is a link where this was discussed at Affiliate Summit West:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/william-rothbard-avoiding-ftc-actions-025103575.html

Also an Affiliate Disclosure Generator link:

http://affiliatezap.com/affiliate-disclosure-generator.html
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WilsonJeremy Premium
I just found this while further researching this topic....this is general, but what I found at minimal that must be stated (supposedly...lol).

Here it is...

"Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Thoughts? Feedback? Other Suggestions?
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paulgoodwin Premium
All depends which path you are taking
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whitsunday Premium
Yes this is fine but lengthy and boring. I would drop the last sentence and make the language more in keeping with the rest of your site...for humans not robots (pedantics).
Just a line or two, I put mine in the author Bio and I have added a disclosure/disclaimer page.
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WilsonJeremy Premium
Thanks for your feedback Whitsunday! :-)
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Dan-L Premium
Check this out. They will give you a copy then just paste on your website in a page and then submenu under Privacy Policy.
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Dan-L Premium
Search for a free affiliate disclosure on Google and you will be able to make one.
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Kyle Premium
There was a big movement several years back about acknowledging that you are promoting something and it was triggered by celebrities "faking" their use of products/services within their vlogs and online channels as though they were actual users, when in actuality they were being heavily compensated by the companies.

It is fine to review products and services and recommend them and there are different rules in every country, the FTC doesn't regulate the entirety of the Internet, it regulates much of the US.

I am always a proponent of honesty, but you I also don't feel that you need a big flashing sign every time you make a product recommendation. There is a blurry line between getting paid to "endorse" a product on your site and using an affiliate link with your recommendations.

I am not going to offer any advice one way or another here because this is a big grey area, but I can tell you this. One of the most prolific review sites in the world that is completely "review" driven and they use affiliate links on every page, don't mention that when they make the recommendations.

Ex. http://medical-alert-systems-review.toptenreviews.com/bay-alarm-medical-review.html

Hope this offers some form of clarity here.
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Fgonzaga Premium
Jeremy: I followed some of the responses to your question from other members. I went to the ftc site referenced by others, and it appears to me that to be on the safe side there should be disclosure. I noticed that several WA member sites include wording to the effect that the owner is being paid a commission. Perhaps an attorney should review the posting on the ftc web site (or others) for legal interpretation and proper wording of the disclosure? Hopefully Kyle and others could sanction this review for the benefit of all members.
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WilsonJeremy Premium
Yeah, I think you're right Fgonzaga....It appears that I may need to get an attorney involved...once I can afford it that is. :-(

Thanks for your imput on this my friend.

Wilson
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Fgonzaga Premium
Can the members rally Kyle to spring the bucks for legal counsel?
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WilsonJeremy Premium
Oooh, that's a good thought....but I bet he's already got a legal professional in his corner, if not a team of legal professionals...so if one of them could just chime in on this and give us some "Official Advice" or action steps to take (even better)...that would be really Awesome!
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Fgonzaga Premium
Hopefully Kyle sees this conversation. You are right. I am sure WA already has legal counsel on retainer to help with the company's legal matters, so this review should be easy for them to do. Regards, Fred
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WilsonJeremy Premium
I agree Fred. :-)
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Robert-A Premium
Hello Jeremy.
I have never heard of this before and I suspect that someone is just attempting to put the 'frightners' on you.
Saying this you really should have a disclaimer to go with your Privacy Doc.
They are pretty well generic and all you have to do is adapt/amend them to your site.
Have a great day.
Robert
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WilsonJeremy Premium
Thank you for your feedback and suggestions Robert! I am currently taking all of this into consideration. :-)

Wilson
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Robert-A Premium
Ok and no worries just get it done and cover your butt.
Robert
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digpacitti Premium
Did you send this to Kyle or Carson? I never seen this in any of the educations I went through. I would like to know what they say. It could be a person that is trying to scare you off a bit perhaps?

But if not I don't see a reason why you couldn't add a comment about you being an affiliate in the 'about me' page.
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TanjaRita Premium
These are FTC guidelines. I am not sure why it isn't covered in the training.
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halinphilly Premium
Everyone in affilliate marketing needs to adapt the mindset that "affiliate" is NOT a dirty word. Affiliate marketing is very common aand a legitimate way to earn income as long as the products are good, have a money-back guarantee that is honored and you believe in what you're selling. Better yet, something you use yourself. You should be happy to put the disclosure notice up front where anyone can see it. Otherwise, you may be in the wrong business or selling the wrong products.
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kacalhoun Premium
If we are required to have these than why are we not taught this in the lessons? I have had my site up for a month and all I have is the privacy policy that Kyle told us to put on it.
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annarella Premium
Hi everyone,

What if I have the disclosure near the top of my sidebar so it appears on every page and is visible - is that not enough? Do I also have to include it on all the pages that have affiliate links?

Thanks guys! :)

Anna
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TanjaRita Premium
It depends on the merchant you are affiliated with. I had one email me to let me know having the disclosure in the sidebar only covers sidebar ads. I was told that if I am linking to their products within a post I also need a disclosure statement prior to any links that are within the article. Apparently this is what the FTC guidelines state.
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annarella Premium
Hi,

Thanks so much for your answer - I appreciate the info!

Have a great day!
Anna
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TanjaRita Premium
You're welcome Anna!
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KDClover Premium
My understanding is that the disclosure has to be conspicuous and near the areas where you actually have the affiliate links. If the visitor has to scroll down to the bottom of a page to find the disclosure, that is not acceptable. The FTC wants the disclosure print to be in a color other than black or gray but they want it to be a dark color. I don't know if what I did will be 100% accepted by the FTC or not until they actually go to my site. You can check what I did by going to one of the product pages at cloverchess.com. I chose dark blue for the print color.
They don't want the disclosure to just blend in with all the other print so it might be overlooked. That's why they don't want black or gray print.
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TanjaRita Premium
Hmm, I didn't know about the color part. I was just told it needs to be in the article with the affiliate links and prior to the link (so not at the bottom). I made the font a bit smaller and italicized it. So it does still stand out.
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leoemery Premium
All you have to do is have a statement in your footer of your site this way it appears on every page.

Here's what I have:

Just A Heads Up I Do Make A Small Commission On The Products And Services That I Use And Talk About Through Affiliate Relationships With Those Merchants

I also have a earnings disclaimer on my site. I have a policy section in my sidebar that links to all my disclaimers.

I have a affiliate and earnings disclaimer that you can copy that I posted here a while back.
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TanjaRita Premium
Leo, I was told by several merchants that I am an affiliate with that I will be kicked out of their program if I do not comply with FTC guidelines. Specifically I need to advise my reader on each post that contains affiliate links that these links are there. This disclaimer must appear before the affiliate links, therefore the footer is not good enough (and apparently the sidebar isn't either).

I have only been adding the disclaimer to posts where I have a link to there merchants.

Other than that I have a disclaimer in the footer and sidebar
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leoemery Premium
Wow, never heard of that before from any merchant. But if that's what they want, you don't have much choice
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TanjaRita Premium
I hadn't either. Until I got an email from the merchant letting me know that I was not following FTC guidelines and that I would be removed from the affiliate program if I didn't make the changes ASAP
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KDClover Premium
My understanding is that the FTC will reject it if the visitor has to scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the disclosure.
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WilsonJeremy Premium
Ok, I have not set up a structured centralized page for this yet, however, I at least just added the following statement to the article of which this comment was left on...please let me know your thoughts/opinions/recommendations for improvement/etc.

Here it is:


Endorsement Disclosure:

"Please note: This website along with the pages & posts within may contain 'affiliate links.' This means that if you click on such a link and make a purchase of any kind, I may receive a small percentage of the sale, otherwise known as a commission.

This helps me cover the costs of maintaining and updating this website as well as giving me the ability to continue with providing you (and the general public) with ongoing valuable information.

Please consider making a purchase through my website today simply by clicking on any of the links within, and if you do help support me in this manner, please comment below and inform me as to what topics you would like to see me write about so that I may know best as to what information to provide to you in my upcoming articles.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support!"


Jeremy Wilson
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TanjaRita Premium
I don't think you need something quite that long on the page. That kind of info can go on your affiliate disclosure page. I would keep it to one to 2 sentences. You don't want to lose readers by having them read all of that first. Here is an example of how I did it in one of my articles (the merchant told me this had to be included each time I link to their website)
http://seemeandliz.com/how-to-encourage-pretend-play-with-a-child-with-special-needs
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WilsonJeremy Premium
Hey Tanja,

yeah, I see your point....Your site looks awesome by the way!

Question, how do you set up your site so that none of the text can be highlighted and copied?

I tried highlighting/copying your endorsement disclosure and realized that your text is locked somehow....I would love to learn how to apply such a lock to my site as well. Would you mind sharing that info with me?

Thank you!

Wilson
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WilsonJeremy Premium
I also REALLY like your Social Share buttons and your Cookie Notice/Opt-in/Opt-Out feature.

What plugins are you using for these two features on your site?

Wilson
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TanjaRita Premium
Yes, they are all plugins.

Wordpress protection lite is so that people can't just copy and paste your work - this is why you couldn't highlight and copy anything from my site.

Cookie Law Info is the plugin that tells users the site uses cookies

I am using shareaholic for the sharing buttons. I am thinking of getting rid of this and switching to another share plugin once I upgrade to the premium version of my theme. The reason I use shareaholic is because I like the option of showing related posts to keep people on my site longer. With the paid version of my theme there is the option of having related posts.

I am glad you liked my site!
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KDClover Premium
I have misgivings about the word "may". It either does or doesn't. I put a disclosure on every page that actually has affiliate links just above the first affiliate link on a page.
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TedBliss Premium
I just put *Affiliated Partner in my right sidebar "For Your Protection" menu and linked it to my Affiliate Disclosure Statement. That way I can put the asterisk in my text next to any mention of an affiliated partner. I'm going to have to beef up my Affiliate Disclosure Statement, but that's another project. Hope this helps. Ted
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WilsonJeremy Premium
That's good info, thank you Ted! :-)
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KatieMac Premium
I think the rule about affiliate disclosure is that it has to be visible to your visitors I had mine as part of the privacy however I will split it and add it to the side bar, mine is generic to cover all the products that I promote
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WilsonJeremy Premium
Thanks Katie! :-)
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WilsonJeremy Premium
What's really, REALLY FUNNY about this is that this guy left this comment on my site's Wealthy Affiliate Review and one of the first things I state within the first fold is that "I am a Premium Member at Wealthy Affiliate"....

...so that statement alone should have me in the clear...at least that would be my assumption...

...but I do want to follow the FCC rules, so that's why I'm reaching out to you all on this topic to further investigate what Actually needs to take place on pages/posts that has affiliate links in them.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread so far...you all are awesome! :-)

All The Best,
Jeremy Wilson
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bill808 Premium
This is a cut and paste from https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking#affiliate.

The site referenced above has all the information you will ever need about making endorsements.
******
What About Affiliate or Network Marketing?
I’m an affiliate marketer with links to an online retailer on my website. When people read what I’ve written about a particular product and then click on those links and buy something from the retailer, I earn a commission from the retailer. What do I have to disclose? Where should the disclosure be?

If you disclose your relationship to the retailer clearly and conspicuously on your site, readers can decide how much weight to give your endorsement.

In some instances – like when the affiliate link is embedded in your product review – a single disclosure may be adequate. When the review has a clear and conspicuous disclosure of your relationship and the reader can see both the review containing that disclosure and the link at the same time, readers have the information they need. You could say something like, “I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.” But if the product review containing the disclosure and the link are separated, readers may lose the connection.

As for where to place a disclosure, the guiding principle is that it has to be clear and conspicuous. The closer it is to your recommendation, the better. Putting disclosures in obscure places – for example, buried on an ABOUT US or GENERAL INFO page, behind a poorly labeled hyperlink or in a “terms of service” agreement – isn’t good enough. Neither is placing it below your review or below the link to the online retailer so readers would have to keep scrolling after they finish reading. Consumers should be able to notice the disclosure easily. They shouldn’t have to hunt for it.
Is “affiliate link” by itself an adequate disclosure? What about a “buy now” button?

Consumers might not understand that “affiliate link” means that the person placing the link is getting paid for purchases through the link. Similarly, a “buy now” button would not be adequate.
What if I’m including links to product marketers or to retailers as a convenience to my readers, but I’m not getting paid for them?

Then there isn’t anything to disclose.
Does this guidance about affiliate links apply to links in my product reviews on someone else’s website, to my user comments, and to my tweets?

Yes, the same guidance applies anytime you endorse a product and get paid through affiliate links.
It’s clear that what’s on my website is a paid advertisement, not my own endorsement or review of the product. Do I still have to disclose that I get a commission if people click through my website to buy the product?

If it’s clear that what’s on your site is a paid advertisement, you don’t have to make additional disclosures. Just remember that what’s clear to you may not be clear to everyone visiting your site, and the FTC evaluates ads from the perspective of reasonable consumers.

I hope Kyle will forgive my breaking the cut and paste rule, but this is relevant to your question.
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bill808 Premium
There are lots of people out there trying to scare us into buying their expensive instructions. All you need to do is tell people you get a commission if they act on your recommendation. Keep the endorsement and the disclosure together. Hiding your disclosure in the footer will not do the job. If your website is structured with an index of your reviews with links to the reviews a disclosure on the index page is not good enough because people may land on the review without ever seeing the index page. KEEP THE ENDORSEMENT AND DISCLOSURE TOGETHER and you will be OK. I am not a lawyer. This is based on my layman interpretation of an FTC document.
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WilsonJeremy Premium
That's great info Bill....thank you so much!
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WilsonJeremy Premium
Bill,

What about putting the "Endorsement Disclosure" in one central location and then providing a link after each endorsement titled, "Endorsement Disclosure" that links back to the central location of such? Would that be sufficient enough?

Wilson
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tclough Premium
I put a short statement about affiliate links in my sidebar with a "Read More" link at the end that goes to my full affiliate disclosure. It seems that we constantly have to be adding new verbiage so having it in one place makes it easier to update.

I also have links to my Privacy Policy , Cookie Policy and Affiliate Disclosure in my footer.

I'm sure there are some people who think that is not enough and that the disclosure should be located right with each affiliate link. I can't bring myself to go that far though.

Tom
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WilsonJeremy Premium
Thanks Tom, That totally makes sense.

Wilson
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TanjaRita Premium
You can add an affiliate disclosure to your side bar as well as within your post. Before an affiliate link you can include a statement such as "Please note: This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on such a link and make a purchase I will receive a small commission. This helps me maintain this website and provide you with ongoing valuable information" Or something like that. You can word it anyway you like.

You can take a look at my site http://seemeandliz.com to see what I have in the sidebar (I also have one in the footer that is just for amazon because they require it)
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cdupre Premium
Is it enough to just have a link to a disclaimer page in the side bar?
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WilsonJeremy Premium
Good stuff Tanja,

Thank you for your suggestions on this matter. I'll check out your site to see how you have it all put together. :-)

Wilson
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wideman Premium
This is what I use. I got a similar complaint during another venture.

Disclosure: some links on this website have affiliate codes in them. Should you purchase anything I may receive a percentage of the sale price. Thank you for your support.
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WilsonJeremy Premium
Yeah, at first I thought it might just be spam, however, they did not include any website links except for my own affiliate link, so then I thought that I might need to do some further investigation into it to see if it's something that I really need to do or not to keep my site legit with the FCC.

Thank you for that info my friend!

All The Best,
Wilson
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Sheila50 Premium
Jeremy,
The comment did not show up or I am missing it here.
Not sure!
Sheila
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WilsonJeremy Premium
The comment is between the lines and it states:

"And no mention of your affiliate links? To whit:
http://www.wealthyaffiliate.com/a_aid/5385ca02

You’re violating FCC guidelines by not stating your affiliate links.

Better fix that by telling people that this is an affiliate link filled advertorial for WA."


.................
Do you see it now?
:-)

Wilson
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Sheila50 Premium
Yes, I do see it now! Sorry about that!
I have no idea why you received that and am anxious to see what others have to say!
Sorry, could not help you!
Sheila
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WilsonJeremy Premium
Thank you Sheila. :-)
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