Queries Regarding FTC (federal trade commission) Disclosure for Affiliate Marketers

5 replies
Hey all!

I have certain doubts regarding FTC disclosure and would appreciate if pro marketers here share their opinions. Although this is something must be discussed with lawyer but still let's hear what members here says.

Considering Federal Trade Commission has jurisdiction ONLY in US (If I'm not wrong)

1. Do ALL Bloggers on Internet who write affiliate reviews have to provide FTC disclosure? Even though they are not US citizen or running their blog from US. Till now I have been writing FTC disclosure because I see other affiliate marketers writing it. (even though I'm not based in US)

another question but different...

2. There is a very popular website called tentenreviews.com (brand of Purch, American online publishing company) They have pages where they have affiliate links and they are compensated for driving sales or subscribers. (NOT 1000% sure) And I checked their whole website and company's website but I can nowhere find any kind of disclosure mentioning anything about it. WHY NOT?

Link: musical-instruments.toptenreviews.com/learn-piano-online-review/
If you checked the first product website link, they have added a promo code at end of the URL which according the product website gives them $2 per month for each customer they refer and $1000 per month bonus for referring 100 members whatever that is.

What do you think?

#affiliate #commission #disclosure #federal #ftc #marketers #queries #trade
  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    about the worst way to get legal advice is to look at what others are doing. its probably worse than getting legal advcie from a forum actually...lol. doing it that way, you are not going to get their whole story or situation and more than that, they very well may be doing it wrong and illegally anyway.

    just because everyone else is speeding on the highway doesn't mean the police wont give you a ticket for doing so. "everyone else was doing it" rarely works as a solid legal defense.

    as far as how far reaching the ftc's reach is....the legal precedents are actually all over the map. they have been involved in helping to shut down many sites over the years that are based in other countries, but they are usually going after bigger fish than small time marketers.

    that being said, there are a number of ways the ftc's rules could easily impact you. if your hosting, domain register, autoresponder service are hosted by USA based companies then there is a very easy angle for them to lean on those guys to essentially put you out of business....even without massive legal action directly against you. your USA based hosting company isnt going to fight the ftc on your behalf....they will gladly fire you as a customer and move on.

    with all of this stuff, doing it right generally pays off. trying to hide the fact that you are affiliated with some company rarely improves your businesses long term chances of success.
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    • Profile picture of the author agmccall
      Do not concern yourself with what others do. Just protect yourself and put the disclosure on your site.


      A bar of iron cost $5. Made into horseshoes, it's worth $12. Made into needles, it's worth $3500. Made into balance springs for watches, it's worth $300,000. Your value is determined by what you are able to make of yourself

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    • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
      Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

      just because everyone else is speeding on the highway doesn't mean the police wont give you a ticket for doing so. "everyone else was doing it" rarely works as a solid legal defense.
      Very true... But a box of donuts can go a long way. Perhaps I should keep a box of donuts in my office for the FTC. I have some for the police in my car.
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    Originally Posted by MilesSharma View Post

    Considering Federal Trade Commission has jurisdiction ONLY in US (If I'm not wrong)
    The FTC regularly sues people around the world in US federal court. If you have a website consider yourself subject to US law if you sell or market to anyone in the US.

    It doesn't stop with the FTC. Criminal charges have brought against people in other countries based on what they are selling online. They are extradited to the US, get to stand trial in a foreign language, then rot the rest of their lives away in US prisons.

    If you ever have any doubts about this, review the FTC's website and all the lawsuits it has filed against people around the world.

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  • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
    I think a few legal forms are easy enough to add to your sites and it would probably take less than 10 minutes. Isn't it better to add it and have peace of mind even if you don't think you need it? Some time ago I purchased a WordPress plugin that made creating them on my blogs practically no work at all.

    If you are someone who is into WP review blogging, I would definitely search around and try to find one of these plugins to do the work for you. I'm sure there are probably several different ones on the market.

    If you have static websites, it would be as easy as just having a text file for each of your legal pages so you can just copy & paste.

    My belief is that it is always better to have ten things you don't need then to not have that one thing you REALLY need!

    I agree also with the people who say not to ask for legal advice on a forum. You may get good advice sometimes, but you might also get some really bad advice that could just get you deeper into hot water.
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