Why Is Everyone Scared Of The New FTC Rules For Internet Marketers Starting Dec 1, 2009?

201 replies
I think it's needed . . . what do you think?

I believe it levels the playing field for everyone concerned. If you're an honest Internet Marketer, then the quality of your product should sell it, right?

Fake testimonials should be a thing of the past. Most everyone in the industry knows that most testimonials on sales pages are fake anyway. Most marketers seldom review a product before they give their fake testimonial.

How does everyone feel about this? Just curious.
#2009 #dec #fake testimonials #ftc #internet #marketers #new reguations #rules #scared #starting #whis
  • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
    The ones who are afraid are the ones who know that they have been
    pushing the envelop, if not flat out breaking the law.

    The rest of us aren't worried one little bit, or at least shouldn't be.
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  • Profile picture of the author KristiDaniels
    I look forward to the new rules. I have two products that really excel with "typical results" and if the competition all has to give typical results, then I win.
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    • Profile picture of the author sean-john
      i can wait this even the playing field a little bit.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
    I'm not worried, but I think that the new rules suck.

    Not being able to use your top success stories without stating what the average results are flat out sucks. It's nearly impossible to know what the average results are. Social proof is so important for sales.

    Having to disclose that you're an affiliate every time you endorse a product also sucks. Honestly I don't want all my subscribers and web visitors to know that I'm being compensated. They have no clue about affiliate marketing. As long as the product is good and can help them, that's all that should matter.

    It's not about ethical vs non ethical or strictly for those who were "pushing the envelope" - this affects all marketers. Because of the indiscretions of a small percentage of marketers, we all have to be inconvenienced.
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    • Profile picture of the author MarketingSPY
      What's wrong with saying. "I'm a proud affiliate of this product. I don't sell anything I don't believe in."
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      • Profile picture of the author krull
        I'm out of the loop I guess. I haven't heard of this.

        Exactly what are these new rules? From the looks of the thread, I'll have no problem with it, and in fact, it could potentially help me!
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      • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
        Originally Posted by MarketingSPY View Post

        What's wrong with saying. "I'm a proud affiliate of this product. I don't sell anything I don't believe in."
        There's nothing wrong with saying that. However, overtime when you have to say that in every email, every blog post, every ad, every hubpage, every article, every forum post, etc - you might change your opinion.

        Saying that adds credibility when it's a list you have a relationship with. But when you have an honest review site and you have to tell strangers (cold traffic ) that you get paid for recommending products, you're sales will drop dramatically.
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        • Profile picture of the author MarketingSPY
          Well, it will be interesting to see what everyone comes up with in order to comply. We are certainly living in very interesting times.
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          • Profile picture of the author Robyn8243
            There is a thread over in the CPA section, advocating a "great out of the box" (not my words) method for making money which basically involves scamming people using Craigslist and a free trial offer.

            I was more annoyed than usual since my 17 year old daughter, who was looking for a job on Craigslist, had come across this very scam and had shown it to me to ask my opinion.

            Someone in that thread made the comment that after December 1, the method would violate the new FTC regulations.

            The reality is that it has always been unethical and unlawful to engage in fraudulent and misleading advertising. Regulations make it a simpler task to enforce violations...the concepts of what constitutes fraud and deception makes for messier more expensive litigation. Specific regulations make the FTC's job a lot easier. You violate the rules...you lose...no excuses...your intent does not matter...honest mistakes...too bad, so sad. Of course the rules themselves can be open to interpretation...but it definitely provides the FTC with leverage.

            It seems that some people are worrying too much, while others who should be worried don't get it.

            While nobody can feel 100% safe from government scrutiny which can be random to a degree, the reality is that the catalyst for the new regulations: widespread fraud and consumer complaints will be the same thing controlling where enforcement is concentrated.

            If you are involved in promoting offers or products that are most likely to result in consumer complaints and that rely on deception to increase sales, you are far more likely to get caught up in FTC enforcement than if you are selling products that are not controversial and where the vendors offer refunds and good customer service.

            The FTC has limited resources. They will not likely be randomly checking websites promoting products that nobody has ever complained about. There is enough actual fraud and consumer complaints to keep the FTC busy without having to hunt down marketers with nothing but satisfied customers. They will be wherever consumers are complaining the loudest and looking for the deepest pockets (but if you have any connection regardless of your personal pockets, you need to be concerned).

            Ironically, the downside for ethical marketers who are now forced to comply with the new regulations which go beyond prohibiting outright fraud and deceit...is that it is highly unlikely that the true scammers will change the way they do business. I could be wrong, but I highly doubt that we have seen the end of FLOGS or totally fake testimonials. So legitimate marketers will be competing for the attention of consumers against the biggest consumer fraud offenders but with a much smaller arsenal of permitted marketing tactics.

            There will likely be some toning down on "network provided" landing pages...since the networks will not want to risk getting into legal trouble, but many of the companies who use FLOGS and Fake News Sites will just be more careful about insulating their businesses to try to protect their assets. Their highly profitable business model is based upon fraud and deceit, and my guess is they will spend their time and money formulating ways to hide their assets and true identities rather than worrying about complying with FTC regulations.

            Robyn
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            • Profile picture of the author peter_act
              I would say the average marketer has nothing to worry about.
              As has been said, action will only be complaint driven.
              If you get no complaints about your site you'll be safe.
              They're only after the big scammers, not us.
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              • Profile picture of the author Robyn8243
                Originally Posted by peter_act View Post

                I would say the average marketer has nothing to worry about.
                As has been said, action will only be complaint driven.
                If you get no complaints about your site you'll be safe.
                They're only after the big scammers, not us.
                I mostly agree...BUT if you are an affiliate promoting products of the "big scammers" the fact that you are a small fish may not insulate you from being caught up in any enforcement action. You never know when the FTC will take action that includes inconsequential small players just to set an example.

                IMHO anybody located in the USA who continues to promote any of the shady free trials with tons of consumer complaints is taking a huge risk, beyond all the negative Karma points you are racking up. If the terms are mostly hidden and designed to cause headaches to anyone trying to understand them, and multiple consumers are complaining that they are difficult to cancel, you should probably be putting some of your fast and easy money into a legal defense fund.

                Robyn
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            • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
              Originally Posted by Robyn8243 View Post


              There will likely be some toning down on "network provided" landing pages...since the networks will not want to risk getting into legal trouble, but many of the companies who use FLOGS and Fake News Sites will just be more careful about insulating their businesses to try to protect their assets. Their highly profitable business model is based upon fraud and deceit, and my guess is they will spend their time and money formulating ways to hide their assets and true identities rather than worrying about complying with FTC regulations.

              Robyn

              Sad, but true.
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            • Profile picture of the author ecdavis
              Originally Posted by Robyn8243 View Post

              Ironically, the downside for ethical marketers who are now forced to comply with the new regulations which go beyond prohibiting outright fraud and deceit...is that it is highly unlikely that the true scammers will change the way they do business. I could be wrong, but I highly doubt that we have seen the end of FLOGS or totally fake testimonials. So legitimate marketers will be competing for the attention of consumers against the biggest consumer fraud offenders but with a much smaller arsenal of permitted marketing tactics.
              This is great point. Those who are blatently dishonest will continue doing what they are doing or find other ways to circumvent ethical behavior. Criminals will most likely continue behaving in a criminal manner. However, that probably describes only a minority of the IM population. Although I am personally unconcerned about the FTC regulations, I can't say that I like the government stepping in to regulate the field, though regulation may, as mentioned above, be an indication of the prevalence of fraud and complaint. Still, I don't see how the regulations would seriously cramp anyone's style. Certainly an inconvenience in some cases, but I can't see this shutting anyone down.

              Evan
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        • Profile picture of the author balara
          I don't think sales will drop dramatically at all. The new regulations are not all that different than those that are required in off line marketing. After all, everyone knows that when a purchase is made from a store the shop owner makes money.

          If someone wants a product they will buy it.

          The challenge that is facing internet marketers, (as I see it) will be in promoting a product that the public genuinely needs, not one that requires a lot of froth and bubbles to make prospects believe that they can't live or succeed without it.

          I think we should view this as an opportunity rather than a disadvantage.

          Cheers
          Veronica
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
        Originally Posted by MarketingSPY View Post

        What's wrong with saying. "I'm a proud affiliate of this product. I don't sell anything I don't believe in."
        I guess nothing is wrong with it....

        But, I see SO MANY people acting like they are already complying, right?

        Well, I look at probably 50 sales pages a day mostly from people on this very forum and I have yet to see...

        "when you buy this product I will make a commission"

        Or

        "I'm an affiliate for this great product, when you buy it money will go into my bank account"

        Just sayin...
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        • Profile picture of the author psresearch
          Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

          I guess nothing is wrong with it....

          But, I see SO MANY people acting like they are already complying, right?

          Well, I look at probably 50 sales pages a day mostly from people on this very forum and I have yet to see...

          "when you buy this product I will make a commission"

          Or

          "I'm an affiliate for this great product, when you buy it money will go into my bank account"

          Just sayin...
          Well, it's not Dec 1 yet. :-)

          But seriously, I don't see how these new rules are going to "solve" anything from a consumer's perspective - except possibly give the real scammers less competition in the marketplace.

          If you look at Compete graphs AFTER the July FTC crackdown on bizopp scams you'll see tons of the same types of scams picking UP in traffic.

          And have you ever noticed how many UK corporations are associated with a lot of the Google Kit offers promoted to U.S. citizens? That's because it's extremely easy to set up "throwaway" anonymous corporations tied to anonymous bank accounts.

          From the Economist:
          "MONEY launderers are moved by greed, unlike Jason Sharman, a political scientist at Australia's Griffith University. Yet with a budget of $10,000 and little more than Google (and the ads at the back of this paper), he showed how easy it was to circumvent prohibitions on banking secrecy, forming anonymous shell companies and secret bank accounts across the world...."

          A synopsis of the findings are here:
          Onshore Secrecy, Offshore Transparency

          Private affiliate networks are also popping up now that don't even have a real "face" to their site.

          So the smart scammers are operating out of multiple jurisdictions making things even more complicated.

          I've been told by an attorney who specializes in misleading advertising as well as business opportunity and franchise law that the FTC basically will only take on cases it believes it can win and the more complicated ones get referred to the USDOJ.

          Obviously it's too early to tell how the rules will play out, but it seems like as far as internet marketing and business opportunity cases are concerned that mainly leaves the FTC with cases of scammers who were too dumb to know how to cover their tracks that also target a vulnerable demographic (the elderly, illiterate, etc.).

          Well, I guess that's enough venting for a night. LOL.

          Time for some light reading...
          Investigations on a cybercrime hub in Estonia
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

      I'm not worried, but I think that the new rules suck.

      Not being able to use your top success stories without stating what the average results flat out sucks. It's nearly impossible to know what the average results are. Social proof is so important for sales.

      Having to disclose that you're an affiliate every time you endorse a product also sucks. Honestly I don't want all my subscribers and web visitors to know that I'm being compensated. They have no clue about affiliate marketing. As long as the product is good and can help them, that's all that should matter.

      It's not about ethical vs non ethical or strictly for those who were "pushing the envelope" - this affects all marketers. Because of the indiscretions of a small percentage of marketers, we all have to be inconvenienced.

      There is a very easy way around the "I'm being compensated" issue.

      Offer a companion product as a bonus that is so great, the customer
      would be a fool to pass up your offer.

      Yes, it will take a little more work, but the affiliates who do this will clean
      up because they'll have a big advantage over everybody else.

      There is always an "ethical" way around every regulation.

      You just have to think a little bit outside the box.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        There is a very easy way around the "I'm being compensated" issue.

        Offer a companion product as a bonus that is so great, the customer
        would be a fool to pass up your offer.

        Yes, it will take a little more work, but the affiliates who do this will clean
        up because they'll have a big advantage over everybody else.

        There is always an "ethical" way around every regulation.

        You just have to think a little bit outside the box.
        Isn't that against Clickbank's new rules?
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

          Isn't that against Clickbank's new rules?
          No Ron, it's not. Read their TOS. You cannot offer rebates, coupons or
          other cash incentives.

          It says nothing about offering an ebook as a bonus.

          Also, this isn't a new rule. It has been part of Clickbank's TOS for a very
          long time.
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    • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
      Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

      Because of the indiscretions of a small percentage of marketers, we all have to be inconvenienced.

      I agree. It's not as if fraud wasn't a crime before December 1, 2009. If a company -- any company -- is cheating people, I WANT the FTC to crush them like a bug. But, speaking as a consumer, I was fine with the old "results not typical" disclaimer.

      I'm not saying I'm against the new rules, but it does feel just a weensy bit like we're all suddenly "guilty until proven innocent."

      -Johnny
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    • Profile picture of the author ppbiz
      Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post


      Having to disclose that you're an affiliate every time you endorse a product also sucks. Honestly I don't want all my subscribers and web visitors to know that I'm being compensated. They have no clue about affiliate marketing. As long as the product is good and can help them, that's all that should matter.
      This is tough to get your head around but I think most will appreciate the honesty. I used to work as a financial adviser and full disclosure on compensation etc when recommending a product was paramount.

      Most people understand that you need to make a living- you can also explain to most that you could just as easily make a commission on a crap product but you have taken the time to research the products and have found one that does the best job - you've saved them the time and the hassle, why shouldn't you get paid for it?

      Rhiannon
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  • Profile picture of the author John M Kane
    I guess because when the Alphabet agencies do anything you can be certain you'll wake up tomorrow with a lot less rights than you went to bed with.
    The word "Overkill" was invented for them.

    Krull
    check out this interview with Jim Edwards and a Honcho from the FTC
    http://www.igottatellyou.com/blog/ftc-change-interview/
    Well worth the listen.

    From what was said I got it that these are not "New" rules but, restating existing in a clearer way.
    Also, they are understaffed and just because "It" has been done so long with out a notice from them does NOT mean you have been in compliance.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    At the end of the day, the new rules are very vague, and open to interpretation. I fear that we may have fallen victim to sensationalist marketers who may have been hyping up this change a little bit too much.
    I'd wait till the rules go into effect before getting too worried about it one way or the other. Even if the worst case scenario were to happen, I doubt that the FTC would have the manpower and resources to police the hundreds of thousands of websites out there making claims, so I'm not going to get too worried about anything just yet.

    Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author rondo
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      • Profile picture of the author SantiSantana
        To me it looks like the reason many decent marketers are scared ( as well as all of the not so decent ones) is that the rules are so open to interpretation that whether they want to call you out on a testimonial is pretty much up to them and not to us ( possibly deliberately so).

        I´m guessing what they want is for people to simply refrain from using them altogether unless they can solidly substantiate them, which in reality is not a bad thing. No more "I got ripped in 4 weeks by using this product" is not a bad thing. Sure, some truthful testimonials won´t work anymore on the basis that they are not average results, but I´m thinking that either they will not enforce to the full extent to begin with but go for the known scammers first, make an example of them and just watch everyone else take them out in fear which is a more workable solution that trying to scour the whole internet looking for every minisite, blog or review lens that has one of those.

        I also think many "below the belt" marketers might use this to start the 21st century witch hunt, accusing competitors to get the FTC onto them. That alone is enough reason to me to stay away from the whole testimonial thing until a few months have passed and we can see what the FTC is actually trying to accomplish with this.
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    • Profile picture of the author scrofford
      Originally Posted by paulie888 View Post

      At the end of the day, the new rules are very vague, and open to interpretation. I fear that we may have fallen victim to sensationalist marketers who may have been hyping up this change a little bit too much.
      I'd wait till the rules go into effect before getting too worried about it one way or the other. Even if the worst case scenario were to happen, I doubt that the FTC would have the manpower and resources to police the hundreds of thousands of websites out there making claims, so I'm not going to get too worried about anything just yet.

      Paul
      My thinking exactly! The FTC DOES NOT have the resources to police everyone. I do believe we as marketers should be forthright and honest, but yes the interpretation of these rules is way to vague and it leaves the door open for the FTC to do as they wish.
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  • Profile picture of the author m4rx
    It always take more than once for the suits to get it right.

    I am wondering how they are going to actually enforce this though. I mean what if your working out of a hut in Tasmania?? interesting thought.

    --m4rx
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

      The rest of us aren't worried one little bit, or at least shouldn't be.
      What he said.

      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      I'm happy to see them scared, and I hope we manage to get them out of the business altogether.
      What she said, too.

      That's all I have to say about that.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jag82
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      The only people with anything to worry about here are people who want to promote and market by deceiving and misleading people.

      I don't know, Alexa. But don't you find the above statement very sweeping and all-encompassing?

      Am I worried? No (I'm not based in US). Concerned? Yes.
      I certainly don't welcome such a ruling that is open to plenty of interpretation
      in my country. That's for sure.

      But does that make me someone who is out to deceive and mislead?

      Now don't get me wrong. I'm all for measures that will clean up the industry.

      At the same time, I can assure you that there are honest marketers out there who are genuinely concerned about the impact of FTC's ruling on their sales.

      Ron Douglas has explained this perfectly well in his previous posts.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ehanson
        Not scared. I'm not a fan of fake testimonials or reviews so I'm actually happy.

        I have a rule for my business ethics if I wouldn't do it offline I don't do it online. I would never say "such and such product helped me so much" to the face of customer without even buying the product first.

        Yes, I know infomercials do it all the time but still...
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      • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
        Originally Posted by Jag82 View Post


        Am I worried? No (I'm not based in US).
        Doesn't protect us Jag. It doesn't matter where you're based. The FTC has jurisdiction over anyone doing business in the US, and when you promote a US-based vendor, you are doing business in the US.

        Can they do much to us offshore businesses? Yes! They can contact the US-based vendor and shut down that connection, they can have your US-based hosting shut you down, they can get you via your US-based payment processor.

        So, you see, we in other countries are not insulated.
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Okay Jeremy, you wanted to see people's blogs. I just checked all of mine
          and with just a few exceptions, they are all compliant.

          I fixed a few by including the following:

          "If you purchase this product from me, I will <explain bonus offer>"

          There...done...compliant.

          Now I'm going to make even more sales.

          I should have done this a long time ago with these products but was just
          too lazy to do so.

          Oh, and folks...don't have an actual physical product to offer?

          No problem.

          Ongoing support for X number of days after purchase.

          Hey, if you REALLY believe in the product, you should have no problem
          supporting it.

          It's about time affiliate marketers actually started to have to work for
          their money.

          Thanks Jeremy. Now my income is going to be even more than it was
          because I'm now offering things that nobody else is offering.

          Oh, would you like to see my blogs? I have about 50 URLs I can send you.
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          • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
            Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

            Okay Jeremy, you wanted to see people's blogs. I just checked all of mine
            and with just a few exceptions, they are all compliant.

            I fixed a few by including the following:

            "If you purchase this product from me, I will <explain bonus offer>"

            There...done...compliant.

            Now I'm going to make even more sales.

            I should have done this a long time ago with these products but was just
            too lazy to do so.

            Oh, and folks...don't have an actual physical product to offer?

            No problem.

            Ongoing support for X number of days after purchase.

            Hey, if you REALLY believe in the product, you should have no problem
            supporting it.

            It's about time affiliate marketers actually started to have to work for
            their money.

            Thanks Jeremy. Now my income is going to be even more than it was
            because I'm now offering things that nobody else is offering.

            Oh, would you like to see my blogs? I have about 50 URLs I can send you.
            Steve, your getting too emotional about this

            The point I was trying to make is if you are one of the people saying NO BIG DEAL then you SHOULD have the wording on your site.

            By not having it there, you look like a hypocrite.

            It's just like here in this very forum, I saw someone who almost ALWAYS puts themselves on the "right" side of all the "ethical" debates. They were in here slamming CPA trial offers saying how "wrong" they were...blah...blah...blah...

            Guess where some of their articles led to? Yup, Teeth whitener landing pages :0

            Ahhh...I love the smell of hypocrites in the morning

            Same thing applies here....

            You are going to see a TON of people trying to tell you what is "right" and a good number of them, won't follow their own advice.

            Moral of the story?

            Follow your own heart and path.
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            • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
              Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

              Steve, your getting too emotional about this

              The point I was trying to make is if you are one of the people saying NO BIG DEAL then you SHOULD have the wording on your site.
              I understand what you're saying and I'm not arguing about being compliant.

              My argument, and maybe I should have made this clearer, is that you don't
              have to put on your blog...

              "I am getting a commission if you buy this product from me."

              No, you don't have to do that.

              This....

              "If you buy this product from me, I will offer, as a bonus (describe bonus)"

              will serve the same purpose to appease the FTC and at the same time
              make you MORE sales.

              Yes, I'm emotional about this because people are turning this wonderful
              opportunity into a nightmare where one doesn't exist.

              Be a smart "out of the box thinking" marketer and you can clean up with
              these new rulings.

              Anybody who doesn't see that isn't a marketer IMO.
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              • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
                Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

                I understand what you're saying and I'm not arguing about being compliant.

                My argument, and maybe I should have made this clearer, is that you don't
                have to put on your blog...

                "I am getting a commission if you buy this product from me."

                No, you don't have to do that.

                This....

                "If you buy this product from me, I will offer, as a bonus (describe bonus)"

                will serve the same purpose to appease the FTC and at the same time
                make you MORE sales.

                Yes, I'm emotional about this because people are turning this wonderful
                opportunity into a nightmare where one doesn't exist.

                Be a smart "out of the box thinking" marketer and you can clean up with
                these new rulings.

                Anybody who doesn't see that isn't a marketer IMO.
                Well, I'm not entirely sure that your wording makes you compliant?

                From what I gather, if you are an affiliate, you are supossed to make it known that you are being compensated...At least that is my take away from it.

                Either way, I wasn't trying to imply that you were "shady" or anything even remotely close to that.
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                • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                  Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

                  Well, I'm not entirely sure that your wording makes you compliant?

                  From what I gather, if you are an affiliate, you are supossed to make it known that you are being compensated...At least that is my take away from it.

                  Either way, I wasn't trying to imply that you were "shady" or anything even remotely close to that.
                  You're splitting hairs now Jeremy.

                  If I say to somebody, "Buy this book from me and I'll give you (whatever)"
                  in HIS mind, isn't he going to think I am getting money for his purchase?

                  Isn't that what the words "buy from me" mean?

                  That implies compensation.

                  Hey, I'm no lawyer, but in good conscience, I believe that makes me
                  compliant. And if you read the actual wording of the FTC regulations, it
                  does not say specifically what wording you have to use, just that you
                  are being compensated.

                  IMHO, and in good conscience, I feel the wording I am using makes me
                  compliant.

                  Let the FTC tell me different, which if they do, will be a warning at first.

                  They are NOT going to fine me $11,000 for that.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
                    Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

                    You're splitting hairs now Jeremy.

                    If I say to somebody, "Buy this book from me and I'll give you (whatever)"
                    in HIS mind, isn't he going to think I am getting money for his purchase?

                    Isn't that what the words "buy from me" mean?
                    Steve, Did you anywhere in this thread say "You should let people know that if they buy something from you, then you should tell them they are being compensated" or anything else along those lines?

                    If you didn't, they you and I discussing this is pretty useless.

                    My comments were aimed at the people that are jumping up and down saying:

                    I ALREADY TELL VISITORS TO MY SITE I AM AN AFFILIATE AND GET COMPENSATED

                    OF COURSE YOU SHOULD TELL PEOPLE YOU GET PAID IF THEY BUY FROM YOUR LINK

                    While you say I'm "splitting hairs" - It seems like you are trying to debate a point with me where we might both be on the same side of the fence.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                      Jeremy,
                      The way Steve worded it was pretty much if you do things on a small scale then the guidelines don't apply to you and you have nothing to worry about.
                      In context, that's not even close to what he said. It's how you needed to interpret his comments in order to allow you to say what you were already planning to say.

                      Steven is not the one posting emotionally here, Jeremy.


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                      • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
                        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                        Jeremy,In context, that's not even close to what he said. It's how you needed to interpret his comments in order to allow you to say what you were already planning to say.

                        Steven is not the one posting emotionally here, Jeremy.


                        Paul
                        Paul,

                        Here is what Steven said:

                        John Doe picks out a product from Clickbank on how to grow mushrooms.

                        He buys it, uses it and finds out that son of a gun, it grows mushrooms.

                        He then puts up a little Blogger blog with a review of the product telling
                        people that he did in fact use it and grew mushrooms and highly recommends
                        the book.

                        Okay, here is the key point.

                        He doesn't, anywhere on his blog, say that he will be compensated if
                        the book is bought off of his blog.

                        Do you really think that the FTC is going to come after this little nobody
                        selling a book on how to grow mushrooms when there are millions of people
                        on the Internet selling things and possibly many thousands who are
                        selling high profile, scam infested items like **** Berry and so on?

                        Anybody who seriously thinks that this person has to worry about one
                        blessed thing is seriously delusional.


                        How would you interpret that Paul?

                        Because to me it means that the rules don't apply to everyone.
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                        • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                          Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

                          Because to me it means that the rules don't apply to everyone.
                          It's not that the rules don't apply, it's that they're not rules. They're guidelines. If you wanted to complain about this... you'd have to point out some way that you were misled into believing that he wasn't making money from the sales.

                          But honestly: you go to someone's blog, and he's trying to sell you something. Do you honestly need him to SAY he's making money from selling it? Why else would he sell it? Is he LIKELY to be selling it out of pure altruism?
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                          "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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                          • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
                            Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post


                            But honestly: you go to someone's blog, and he's trying to sell you something. Do you honestly need him to SAY he's making money from selling it? Why else would he sell it? Is he LIKELY to be selling it out of pure altruism?
                            If it were really that obvious, why would there be any guidelines?

                            It is obvious to us in this circle, but again, to the average internet user, they probably have no clue that some 3rd party affiliate is often making money when a link on a site is clicked and a purchase made.

                            P.S. I get it - They are not "rules" they are "guidelines"
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                    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                      Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

                      While you say I'm "splitting hairs" - It seems like you are trying to debate a point with me where we might both be on the same side of the fence.
                      That's fair. Maybe we are. And if people are blatantly lying saying that
                      they're doing one thing and doing something else, well, that's also between
                      them and their conscience.

                      But there are really 2 issues here. No, 3 issues here.

                      1. Issue 1 - Many people, yourself included, call this a law. It is NOT a law.
                      It is a recommended guideline. Yes, there are penalties for not following
                      these guidelines...in theory. But that brings us to issue 2.

                      2. Issue 2 - The reality. John Doe selling mushrooms is not going to be an
                      FTC priority. I don't care what anybody says. With products out there
                      that are literally bogus, the FTC is going to come after THOSE people
                      before they come after some guy selling a course in how to speak
                      Pig Latin.

                      3. Issue 3 - The wording of the "disclaimer" is not written in stone. You
                      do not have to have any specific wording on your site. You just have to
                      make it clear, in some way, that you are getting money from the sale of
                      the product. Any way you accomplish this (and I feel my way is perfectly
                      within the letter of the guidelines) is acceptable.

                      Issue 2 is the biggest of the 3. The sad reality is this. Even the big
                      offenders, the ones selling bogus products with bogus claims, will most
                      likely remain untouched.

                      Why?

                      The reasons are far too many to get into in this thread. Suffice it to say,
                      they have enough resources to operate so under the radar that nobody
                      could ever in a million years figure out who they are.

                      This is yet another toothless regulation, just like the can spam act. Sure,
                      a few spammers have gone to jail.

                      How many are still running around loose?

                      Personally, I don't have a real answer to all the crap that we have to put
                      up with online. I too have been scammed. I bought a DVD series from an
                      online company that not only turned out to be recorded from the TV, but
                      the recordings, in many cases, didn't even play.

                      And this company, after researching them, has been in business for years,
                      have had thousands of complaints against them and yet, still do business.

                      Do you really think, in the grand scheme of things, that these FTC
                      regulations are going to make one damn bit of difference?

                      Seriously, do you?

                      I don't. I have absolutely no faith that this agency can do anything about
                      the crap that we have to deal with everyday.

                      But they're certainly not going to come after me for recommending a
                      "how to play guitar" course.

                      I mean please, let's be real about this whole thing.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                        Jeremy,
                        How would you interpret that Paul?
                        As an honest acknowledgement of resource limitations and the intent of the regulations.

                        They really are more concerned about the scammy CPA deals and people who intentionally mislead people than they are about a guy who likes a product, recommends it because of that, and makes $132.50 in commissions in the process.

                        There are a lot of gradations in the middle of those two, but he's right. He didn't say, "The law doesn't apply to the little guy," which is how you treated his comments.


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                        • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
                          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                          Jeremy,As an honest acknowledgement of resource limitations and the intent of the regulations.

                          They really are more concerned about the scammy CPA deals and people who intentionally mislead people than they are about a guy who likes a product, recommends it because of that, and makes $132.50 in commissions in the process.

                          There are a lot of gradations in the middle of those two, but he's right. He didn't say, "The law doesn't apply to the little guy," which is how you treated his comments.


                          Paul
                          And he is probably right!

                          They probably are more concerned with the scammy CPA stuff, there is no doubt about that.

                          But, if you don't promote scammy CPA stuff, do the guidelines not apply to you? If they come knocking on your door can you say, I didn't think the guidelines applied to me?

                          They don't really draw a line anywhere in any of the written documentation that I've read.

                          My understanding is, if you sell products online, the guidelines apply to you regardless of what you sell or how much of it you sell.
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                          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                            My understanding is, if you sell products online, the guidelines apply to you regardless of what you sell or how much of it you sell.
                            Who said they didn't?

                            You're mixing arguments, sir.

                            You really should look through your posts in this thread, and look at the emotionally charged words you've chosen.


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                            • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
                              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                              Who said they didn't?

                              You're mixing arguments, sir.

                              You really should look through your posts in this thread, and look at the emotionally charged words you've chosen.


                              Paul
                              Paul, with all due respect, I'm not even slightly emotional.

                              and

                              I'm not mixing arguments.

                              My original statement was:

                              Many of the people that say they are already telling people that they are letting their visitors know they are being compensated with purchases made on their site...are not doing so.

                              I stand by that based on what I see on the sites linked to in signature files.

                              The guidelines say that you SHOULD let people know that you are being compensated if someone makes a purchase or if you are being compensated.

                              Steven alluded to the fact that Joe Schmo who puts up a review site on a product that he has purchased and includes affiliate links doesn't have anything to worry about.

                              I'm not saying that he does or doesn't...

                              I'm saying that the "guidelines" don't distinguish between the guy that sells 100 products a day and the guy that sells one.

                              Where am I going wrong?
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                              • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                                Jeremy,
                                I'm not even slightly emotional.
                                After I get some much needed sleep, I'll quote back some comments of yours from previous posts in this thread. We'll see if you maintain that position. Or the one about mixing arguments.

                                Make popcorn.


                                Paul
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                                • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayo
                                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                                  Make popcorn.


                                  Paul


                                  Paul, Ready when you are sir.
                                  Have a Great Day!
                                  Michael
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                        • Profile picture of the author psresearch
                          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                          Jeremy,As an honest acknowledgement of resource limitations and the intent of the regulations.

                          They really are more concerned about the scammy CPA deals and people who intentionally mislead people than they are about a guy who likes a product, recommends it because of that, and makes $132.50 in commissions in the process.

                          There are a lot of gradations in the middle of those two, but he's right. He didn't say, "The law doesn't apply to the little guy," which is how you treated his comments.


                          Paul
                          If the FTC wants to solve the real problems, they need more money and need to do a MUCH better job at marketing their messages. They are notoriously bad at getting warnings out about types of scams - although now that they've started allowing embedded videos that's getting better.

                          And as you say, they are really trying to go after the scammy offers - but of course they can't just come out and say "hey, this is the real reason we're doing this...don't worry about it if you're a smaller blogger".
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                          • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
                            <Whips Out The Popcorn And Soda And Recliner>..........
                            Signature
                            "Your personal philosophy is the greatest determining factor in how your life works out."
                            - Jim Rohn
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                            • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                              Originally Posted by Rod Cortez View Post

                              <Whips Out The Popcorn And Soda And Recliner>..........
                              Rod, I swear...if you don't save some for me this time you are off my
                              Christmas list. :p
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                            • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
                              Originally Posted by Rod Cortez View Post

                              <Whips Out The Popcorn And Soda And Recliner>..........
                              Pulls up the recliner next to Rod, pours another glass, and awaits the nachos from the oven. Wondering if I should have brought my 3-D glasses.
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                              • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
                                Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

                                Rod, I swear...if you don't save some for me this time you are off my Christmas list. :p
                                Gosh, I don't want that. I guess I better save you some.

                                Originally Posted by Kevin Riley View Post

                                Pulls up the recliner next to Rod, pours another glass, and awaits the nachos from the oven. Wondering if I should have brought my 3-D glasses.
                                I was wondering if you were going to show up or not. I have a feeling the show will be fine with out the 3-D glasses, then again, one never knows....

                                In all seriousness folks, I haven't finished reading the new FTC guidelines (almost though) but I'm scratching my head at some of them. I called the FTC this morning and spoke with a nice lady named Mary and she only confused me more by stating that "just be upfront and clear about what you are doing and you will be okay". When I pressed her on what that meant exactly, she stated she didn't have the time to go over examples and that I should re-read the document on the website and watch the videos. I'm going to try calling again later.

                                Uh ok. I offered her some popcorn and Kevin's nachos, but then all I heard was a dial tone.

                                RoD
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                                • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                                  Originally Posted by Rod Cortez View Post

                                  Gosh, I don't want that. I guess I better save you some.


                                  I was wondering if you were going to show up or not. I have a feeling the show will be fine with out the 3-D glasses, then again, one never knows....

                                  In all seriousness folks, I haven't finished reading the new FTC guidelines (almost though) but I'm scratching my head at some of them. I called the FTC this morning and spoke with a nice lady named Mary and she only confused me more by stating that "just be upfront and clear about what you are doing and you will be okay". When I pressed her on what that meant exactly, she stated she didn't have the time to go over examples and that I should re-read the document on the website and watch the videos. I'm going to try calling again later.

                                  Uh ok. I offered her some popcorn and Kevin's nachos, but then all I heard was a dial tone.

                                  RoD

                                  Rod, sent you a PM that should help clear up some questions you might
                                  have.
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                            • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                              Originally Posted by Rod Cortez View Post

                              <Whips Out The Popcorn And Soda And Recliner>..........
                              I do not want to know where you're whipping that recliner out of...


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                          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                            Mark,
                            but of course they can't just come out and say "hey, this is the real reason we're doing this...don't worry about it if you're a smaller blogger".
                            Right. If they did, there'd be a ton of new launches for "looks tiny" automation products.


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                      • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
                        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post


                        Do you really think, in the grand scheme of things, that these FTC
                        regulations are going to make one damn bit of difference?
                        No, I don't.

                        I wasn't really commenting on whether or not they would make a difference.

                        I'm commenting on the fact that when an issue of "right" and "wrong" gets brought up that there are a ton of people that claim to be on the "right" side, when they aren't.

                        The same people that bitch about guys like Filsaime and Howie blasting emails 3 times a day....are blasting 3 emails a day themselves.

                        The same people that complain about CPA offers...are promoting CPA offers.

                        The same people that say being open and honest about making money to the people that visit their site...Aren't being open and honest about making money to the people that visit their site.

                        Sure, they might do so after DEC 1st...but, if it is the "right" thing to do, why weren't they doing it all along?

                        I was simply trying to point out that there are many people that would like you to believe that they are some how "better" and more "ethical" than the rest when it simply isn't the case.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                          Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

                          I was simply trying to point out that there are many people that would like you to believe that they are some how "better" and more "ethical" than the rest when it simply isn't the case.
                          You're making assumptions.

                          Do you have proof that the people who say they're ethical are not?

                          If so, great. I'll agree.

                          But if you're just assuming, it isn't fair to those who say they're ethical and
                          really are.

                          Just because somebody doesn't want to show you their blog doesn't
                          mean they're not running a legit business.

                          I've got nothing to hide but on the other hand don't give a crap about
                          this whole issue because of the reasons I've brought up. For the little
                          guy, this whole thing is totally unenforceable. You know it and I know it.

                          If I see a blog review of a songwriting book from some guy and he doesn't
                          tell me he's being compensated if I buy it from him, trust me, I'm not going
                          to report the guy for some horrible violation.

                          For that matter, do you think the average Joe in the street even knows
                          that when he does read one of these reviews that there must be a
                          disclaimer? The only reason we know is because it's our business to know.

                          Jane Smith buying a Clickbank book of knitting patterns doesn't know
                          beans about the FTC and the only way they're even going to find out
                          from her is if she buys the book and has a serious problem with the
                          contents.

                          How much of a serious problem can somebody have with knitting patterns.

                          All I'm saying is this. We need to put all of this into perspective and to
                          assume that people who say they are compliant are liars without proof
                          that they're actually liars is just wrong.

                          Don't ASSUME because when you do, you make an ASS out of U and ME.

                          My apologies to Felix Unger.
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                          • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
                            Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

                            You're making assumptions.

                            Do you have proof that the people who say they're ethical are not?

                            If so, great. I'll agree.
                            Steve, read through the 15 threads about this on this board and click Sig links...

                            And I'm not saying that not including the disclaimer makes anyone unethical.

                            I'm saying that if you are going to lecture others on the fine points of being transparent and continuously repeat that you DO tell your visitors that you are compensated for purchases made from your site...YOU SHOULD DO IT.
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              • Profile picture of the author Harvey Segal
                Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

                Steve, your getting too emotional about this
                I don't think he's emotional.

                His example about mushrooms makes him a fun guy

                Harvey



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        • Profile picture of the author Jag82
          Originally Posted by Kevin Riley View Post

          Doesn't protect us Jag. It doesn't matter where you're based. The FTC has jurisdiction over anyone doing business in the US, and when you promote a US-based vendor, you are doing business in the US.

          Can they do much to us offshore businesses? Yes! They can contact the US-based vendor and shut down that connection, they can have your US-based hosting shut you down, they can get you via your US-based payment processor.

          So, you see, we in other countries are not insulated.

          Grrrrrrr....You are probably right about this, Kevin.

          And that's what get to me.

          You know, case studies are an important component in the process of selling.

          And good case studies are a lot about specific figures and results.

          Now, because of a vague ruling, honest marketers are
          all inconvenienced as we can't put our genuine and best cases forward.

          Under such circumstances, how can one not be concerned?

          Jag
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    the first i heard today was you needed i am a affiliate earning money type notice by each link ? is the right and would that apply to each banner, video, article ? just seems messy, do not mind in the terms or disclosure section but dotted everywhere on the pages would look but ugly ?

    i need that hut in Tasmania i think ? can somebody clarify that part on exactly what is required, sounds horrible
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
    It's sounds really righteous to say "I'm an honest marketer...only those who are deceiving people have to be worried..." I supposed that is the right thing to say. I don't question anyone's integrity but let's not kid ourselves. The fact is, honest marketers will be affected as well.

    For example, are you going to go back to all the articles you've written that promote affiliate products and add a disclaimer? You're still making sales from those articles aren't you? Or does the rule not apply to old stuff you're still getting paid on?

    What about product launches? Now you can't use social proof from people who have succeeded with your product unless you know what the average results are.

    What about the increase in affiliate theft that will likely occur because of these rules? You post a recommendation for a product but then say that you're getting an affiliate commission. The reader then realizes that he can get paid from the product as well and signs up as an affiliate instead of buying through your link.

    Screw your little ebook bonus. That user would rather get the product for 50 to 75% off by buying through his own affiliate link.

    It's like after 911 happen and now everyone has to arrive at the airport an hour earlier, take off shoes before being scanned, and buy water at the airport because they won't let you in with it. Has that helped make us more secure? NO. It has only inconvenienced everyone.

    Will these new rules make the Internet a safer place for consumers? I doubt it very seriously. Good luck trying to enforce it.
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    • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
      Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post


      What about the increase in affiliate theft that will likely occur because of these rules? You post a recommendation for a product but then say that you're getting an affiliate commission. The reader then realizes that he can get paid from the product as well and signs up as an affiliate instead of buying through your link.
      .
      well here is a question, I direct link in on some products with adwords how do i add the disclaimer to that ?
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        well here is a question, I direct link in on some products with adwords how do i add the disclaimer to that ?
        My understanding is that anything which is an obvious advertisement doesn't require the commission disclosure. Any reasonable consumer assumes that ads are compensated in some way. The problem is recommendations that might be interpreted as "happy customer" comments or editorial reviews or the like, but which are actually paid in some way.

        That's aside from the issue of testimonials, mind you. Different things.


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        • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          My understanding is that anything which is an obvious advertisement doesn't require the commission disclosure. Any reasonable consumer assumes that ads are compensated in some way. The problem is recommendations that might be interpreted as "happy customer" comments or editorial reviews or the like, but which are actually paid in some way.

          That's aside from the issue of testimonials, mind you. Different things.


          Paul
          an intersting look at it , so if i made my link look like a google ad i would not need a disclaimer or used the words you can buy your copy here, ?

          or as stated in the video if i added the words advertisement ot the top of the page that would cover the page ?

          it would be good to see some real life examples. I am sure it will work out when the left foot learns to step in time with the right one.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

      It's sounds really righteous to say "I'm an honest marketer...only those who are deceiving people have to be worried..." I supposed that is the right thing to say. I don't question anyone's integrity but let's not kid ourselves. The fact is, honest marketers will be affected as well.
      Yes, honest marketers will, but they'll be wrung through the ringer of public opinion so much that people will not believe they were really honest marketers.

      Will these new rules make the Internet a safer place for consumers? I doubt it very seriously. Good luck trying to enforce it.
      Remember when they passed anti-spam regulations? Worked out well, don't you think?
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    • Profile picture of the author halfpoint
      Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

      You post a recommendation for a product but then say that you're getting an affiliate commission. The reader then realizes that he can get paid from the product as well and signs up as an affiliate instead of buying through your link.

      Screw your little ebook bonus. That user would rather get the product for 50 to 75% off by buying through his own affiliate link.
      I'm by no means a lawyer nor have I spoken to one in a professional sense, however, I did ask the opinion of a lawyer who is also a marketer and is up to date with everything the FTC is doing and he seemed to think that a link to a "Affiliate Disclosure" page at the bottom of your site would be fine.

      I now have an affiliate disclosure page at each of my websites that states I get commissions, however, I don't have a disclaimer any where else on my sites. If that isn't okay with the FTC then I guess they'll let me know.

      As I said, though, I was simply asking his opinion and none of the above should be construed as legal advice.
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      • Profile picture of the author infohelps
        Originally Posted by Pat Jackson View Post

        I'm by no means a lawyer nor have I spoken to one in a professional sense, however, I did ask the opinion of a lawyer who is also a marketer and is up to date with everything the FTC is doing and he seemed to think that a link to a "Affiliate Disclosure" page at the bottom of your site would be fine.

        I now have an affiliate disclosure page at each of my websites that states I get commissions, however, I don't have a disclaimer any where else on my sites. If that isn't okay with the FTC then I guess they'll let me know.

        As I said, though, I was simply asking his opinion and none of the above should be construed as legal advice.
        I don't know if this has been mentioned on here before or not, but I found this site to be helpful:

        disclosurepolicy.org
        (can't post a live link, since I'm still a n00b around here)

        It might not be perfect, but it seems to be a good starting point.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hesaidblissfully
      Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

      What about the increase in affiliate theft that will likely occur because of these rules? You post a recommendation for a product but then say that you're getting an affiliate commission. The reader then realizes that he can get paid from the product as well and signs up as an affiliate instead of buying through your link.

      Screw your little ebook bonus. That user would rather get the product for 50 to 75% off by buying through his own affiliate link.
      I think that people who are savvy enough to do this would've done the same thing whether you explicitly stated you were getting a commission or not. Also, signing up with an affiliate network isn't always quick and easy enough for it to seem worth it to someone who really wants the product. Some affiliate programs require you to be approved, either into the network or into that specific program.

      In any case, if you know about affiliate marketing and you're looking to make/save a few bucks on a purchse, you don't need me to SAY I'm getting a commission, you'll figure it out on your own.
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      • Profile picture of the author MarketingSPY
        Originally Posted by Hesaidblissfully View Post

        I think that people who are savvy enough to do this would've done the same thing whether you explicitly stated you were getting a commission or not. Also, signing up with an affiliate network isn't always quick and easy enough for it to seem worth it to someone who really wants the product. Some affiliate programs require you to be approved, either into the network or into that specific program.

        In any case, if you know about affiliate marketing and you're looking to make/save a few bucks on a purchse, you don't need me to SAY I'm getting a commission, you'll figure it out on my own.
        I agree - you fully spelled it out. If there is away for crooked affiliates to steal - then they will find away.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
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      • Profile picture of the author psresearch
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post



        You're mistaken: terrorists have been arrested and removed from society that way. It has made us safer.



        Unboubtedly. They already have done, just with voluntary, pre-December compliance. There's no question about it. Fewer people are being deceived and misled already.

        Are they perfect? Probably not. Do we know with 100% clarity how to interpret them? Obviously not: they're too new. Are they welcome? Very definitely.
        Site Profile for kevinsmoneytree.org | Compete

        I can pull tons of other examples. Notice the steep rise AFTER the Operation Shortchange crackdown.

        Look, I'm not anti-FTC. In fact I spent several weeks helping a senior litigator at the FTC on one of the Operation Shortchange cases (I bet they were surprised at my response to their "cease & desist" LOL). And as far as I know, I'm still slated to testify if they need me to (I signed an affidivat prepared by the FTC to help them file the initial injunction).

        These new regs won't have much effect on the people causing the real problems.
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Andy,
          However the data you mentioned above is data of UK citizens right? So that means we should have a say to protect it.
          So, we agree. The UK government has the right to take steps to protect their citizens, and the US government has the same right.

          If furriners to either country don't want to work within the guidelines developed to do that, they can just avoid doing business in the country in question.

          No problem.

          If the US were telling someone in Wales how they had to interact with someone in New South Wales, you'd have a valid objection, and one I'd support completely and immediately.

          They're not.

          The objection isn't that the US is trying to control the world. It's that the US is doing things they see as protecting their own citizens, and that's viewed as inconvenient by some folks who want to do business in one of the largest markets online.

          As long as we're clear on what we're saying, we'll probably agree far more often than not.


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          • Profile picture of the author Andy Hart
            Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

            Andy,So, we agree. The UK government has the right to take steps to protect their citizens, and the US government has the same right.

            If furriners to either country don't want to work within the guidelines developed to do that, they can just avoid doing business in the country in question.

            No problem.

            If the US were telling someone in Wales how they had to interact with someone in New South Wales, you'd have a valid objection, and one I'd support completely and immediately.

            They're not.

            The objection isn't that the US is trying to control the world. It's that the US is doing things they see as protecting their own citizens, and that's viewed as inconvenient by some folks who want to do business in one of the largest markets online.

            As long as we're clear on what we're saying, we'll probably agree far more often than not.


            Paul
            I completely agree, I have been staring into space pondering it over and when you look at the bigger picture it does seem that they (FTC) are just simply trying to protect their own.

            It effects most of us online because as you mentioned the US is "one of the largest markets online" .

            Overall I welcome the changes and agree with the main ideas.

            This kinda blows my other post out of the water, but hey you live and learn.

            Thanks
            Andy
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            • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
              Andy,
              This kinda blows my other post out of the water, but hey you live and learn.

              Thanks
              You are my new hero. No joke.

              It's easy to argue a point, and pit your debating skills against someone else's. It's a whole other thing to be more concerned with being right in your own mind than looking right in someone else's.

              Tip of the hat to you, sir, seriously, for the most useful lesson/reminder in this whole thread.

              Thank you.


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              • Profile picture of the author Andy Hart
                Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                Andy,You are my new hero. No joke.

                It's easy to argue a point, and pit your debating skills against someone else's. It's a whole other thing to be more concerned with being right in your own mind than looking right in someone else's.

                Tip of the hat to you, sir, seriously, for the most useful lesson/reminder in this whole thread.

                Thank you.


                Paul

                PRINTED and now off to the shops to pick out a nice shiny new frame, lol (laughing but deadly serious)
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Harvey
    I do think that a little regulation as to outrageous claims is a good thing. Hopefully fewer people will be suckered in by some of these wild promises of Ferrari automobiles and seaside mansions in 6 months or less. The internet is a great place to earn a living but so many are duped into thinking that it is easy..
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    • Profile picture of the author Owdoac
      Now you've done it. I'm crushed! Are you telling me I can't get a new Ferrari and park it in front of a new seaside mansion in less than six months?

      I figured just a couple of ebook sales would do the trick. ;-)
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
        Again I ask, if the new rules are no big deal - especially for those saying that they are already compliant and have nothing to worry about...

        Why don't you already have disclaimers on your site?

        Why don't you have disclaimers in your emails that link directly to a sales page where you will be making a commission?

        Why aren't you being "honest" before December 1st?

        My take on this is, you will see the same people that always put out there that they are on the "right side" of the ethical line swearing up and down that they have nothing to worry about and that they are ALREADY compliant - and they are FULL OF ****.

        This is the 3rd such thread that I've asked to see an example and guess what I've gotten? The sounds of crickets chirping...

        I'm not saying that NOBODY is already compliant, but not nearly the number of people that claim that they are pure as virgin snow.

        Nobody wants to put on their review site...

        "When you buy this product, I'm going to make a commission"

        or

        "I'm reviewing this product because I make money if you decide to buy it"

        By doing so, at least in the eyes of the people that find your site you are no longer "helpful" you are just someone else trying to make a buck.
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        • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
          Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

          This is the 3rd such thread that I've asked to see an example and guess what I've gotten? The sounds of crickets chirping....
          I would depend on what is compliant ? until today ish i never knew a discliamer needed to be attached to each link ? or does it, what size when where or how, but i do have a big disclaimer in my terms

          Links on this site may lead directly or indirectly to affiliate offers. The owner of this site will receive compensation if a purchase is made using a link from this site. The owner of this site does not make any guarantee concerning these offers and all offers should be viewed as recommendations only
          Its been there from day one when i knew or thought i knew what the rules were to be, now i am just confused. and being real when confused on exactly what is needed i just can walk away until the fog clears and at that time i can adjust once i can see clearly now the rain has gone.

          yell out if you want a link to avoid crickets chirping.

          the next one is to sort the responders as i had a clue that was coming
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          • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
            Originally Posted by tryinhere View Post

            I would depend on what is compliant ? until today ish i never knew a discliamer needed to be attached to each link ? or does it, what size when where or how, but i do have a big disclaimer in my terms



            Its been there from day one when i knew or thought i knew what the rules were to be, now i am just confused. and being real when confused on exactly what is needed i just can walk away until the fog clears and at that time i can adjust once i can see clearly now the rain has gone.

            yell out if you want a link to avoid crickets chirping.

            the next one is to sort the responders as i had a clue that was coming
            Thanks

            As I said, I didn't say NOBODY was doing it...I'm saying, when I click on a sig link or visit reviews etc by people in this thread...the disclaimers that they have "no problem" with are nowhere to be found.

            Would have been hard to find yours though because you don't advertise it

            We have similar disclaimers in our TOS and such, but what I'm wondering is if it's only right to let people know that you might earn money from a recommendation, why don't people put it right in front of eye balls? Why not put it right next to the link if it's only "right" that people know?

            I just think that a lot of the conversation is dominated by those that will say whatever they have to say to be on the "right" side of the issue....yet, their own sites don't exactly reflect what they claim is so "ethical" and "right".
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            • Profile picture of the author Wealthyclark
              If you don't know what the average results are how do they?

              What everyone needs to do is be sure they are promoting good products that get very little complaints, other than that there is no way an outsider can determine what the average results are. Correct?
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            • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
              Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

              Thanks

              As I said, I didn't say NOBODY was doing it...I'm saying, when I click on a sig link or visit reviews etc by people in this thread...the disclaimers that they have "no problem" with are nowhere to be found.

              Would have been hard to find yours though because you don't advertise it

              ".
              ok my error i read it wrong, we are all good, i think many / people want to comply , it just seems hard to get a black n white list of options

              re advertise the link, to be honest i am scared to as i also do not understand the forum policy in regards links, i know you can not put in a affiliate link, but the site is a site i built myself with affiliate links / promoting a c b product so because i am unsure i do not risk fate and list it ? any advice here would be off topic but helpful
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              • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
                Originally Posted by tryinhere View Post

                ok my error i read it wrong, we are all good, i think many / people want to comply , it just seems hard to get a black n white list of options

                re advertise the link, to be honest i am scared to as i also do not understand the forum policy in regards links, i know you can not put in a affiliate link, but the site is a site i built myself with affiliate links / promoting a c b product so because i am unsure i do not risk fate and list it ? any advice here would be off topic but helpful
                As long as you own the site, it can go in your sig
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        • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
          Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

          Why don't you have disclaimers in your emails that link directly to a sales page where you will be making a commission?
          Some of us do.

          This is the 3rd such thread that I've asked to see an example and guess what I've gotten? The sounds of crickets chirping...
          From an autoresponder series I'm currently running on product creation:

          "Almost all of these have affiliate programs, so I'm providing affiliate links in case you want to go get them on my recommendation. You won't pay any extra, but a little of the purchase price goes in my pocket, which is always appreciated."

          Of the twelve products and services promoted in that series, seven have affiliate links, four have non-affiliate links, and one is free.

          Now, I don't know whether this happies the FTC in every legal respect, but it's certainly a good-faith effort. Regardless of what the FTC might say, they can't say I haven't disclosed my financial interest, and they can't say I've misled or deceived anyone. They can't even complain that I only promote products that compensate me - because almost half of them don't.

          Indeed, of the seven products that are affiliate links, three of them are roughly equivalent alternatives... and the average buyer will only want one of them, so it ends up an even split (five commission, five non-commission). Furthermore, it's not that I can't find products that pay a commission for the non-affiliate links... it's that I don't recommend them.

          Just be honest. It's that simple. Can I make a commission by referring people to a substandard product? Sure I can - but I won't. It's not about the money.

          And let's be honest here, okay? If I point you to a site where you can buy something... isn't it pretty much a foregone conclusion that I'll make money if you buy it?

          I mean, every time someone sends me to a site where he doesn't make a commission, he makes a point of mentioning it: "I won't make a dime off this!" - so the lack of that mention is a pretty solid indication that he's making money off the product.

          On the same lines, it was amusing to see a recent mail from Frank Kern where he promoted a $1 trial of a $97 monthly membership, and made a joke about how every three people who bought it meant he could buy himself a Coke. No mention of his cut from the $97 monthly membership, though... which struck me as a potentially dangerous omission.
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          • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
            CDarklord,

            To you and I, yes common sense tells us that if we click a link that someone is going to make a commission.

            But, do you think the average internet surfer knows? Because I had no clue that someone was making commission on me 2 years ago when I was clicking links from reviews to Amazon...
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
        Okay, I have been doing a lot of thinking about this whole issue ever since
        it became an issue.

        So let me give you a hypothetical situation and you tell me, in all honesty,
        if you think this person really has to worry about anything.

        John Doe picks out a product from Clickbank on how to grow mushrooms.

        He buys it, uses it and finds out that son of a gun, it grows mushrooms.

        He then puts up a little Blogger blog with a review of the product telling
        people that he did in fact use it and grew mushrooms and highly recommends
        the book.

        Okay, here is the key point.

        He doesn't, anywhere on his blog, say that he will be compensated if
        the book is bought off of his blog.

        Do you really think that the FTC is going to come after this little nobody
        selling a book on how to grow mushrooms when there are millions of people
        on the Internet selling things and possibly many thousands who are
        selling high profile, scam infested items like **** Berry and so on?

        Anybody who seriously thinks that this person has to worry about one
        blessed thing is seriously delusional.

        Now, I am not a lawyer and I wouldn't bet my life that this person won't
        get into trouble, but I'd risk a substantial amount of money that he's got
        nothing to worry about.

        Worst case scenario, IMO, is he gets a warning FIRST, to put that
        disclaimer on this blog.

        I think way too many people are blowing this whole thing way out of
        proportion.

        I firmly stand by what I have said all along. The only people who have to
        worry about these regulations, and even these folks might not get caught
        unless there are tons of complaints, are the ones selling high profile items
        that have have a history behind them OR get so many complaints that
        the FTC has to act.

        I mean for crying out loud. They can't possibly police the whole Internet.

        So let me put it to you this way, and this is in direct response to Jeremy
        asking me to show him my blogs. Even though I do not have on any of
        my blogs that I get paid if you buy the product from me (except of course
        where I blatantly offer a bonus to those who do buy from me) I am not in
        the least bit concerned that the FTC is going to come banging on my door
        for recommending the products that I promote.

        Why?

        They are low profile.
        I know they work.
        Nobody is going to care enough about them to bitch.

        If I were promoting **** Berry or one of those scammy CPA offers where
        you end up getting billed and can't stop it with a locomotive, then I'd
        be worried.

        Naturally, each person has to do what's right for them.

        Govern yourself accordingly.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
          Steve, If you are breaking the law, your breaking the law - "low profile" or not.

          Basically, what your saying is, it's ok to steal a loaf of bread, but not rob a bank.
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          • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
            Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

            Steve, If you are breaking the law, your breaking the law - "low profile" or not.

            Basically, what your saying is, it's ok to steal a loaf of bread, but not rob a bank.
            First of all, it's not a law. It's a guideline...and a vague one at that in many
            areas.

            I didn't say I wouldn't, at some point in time, modify the blogs that I have
            that don't offer bonuses. I will, most likely, come up with bonuses for those
            products as well. Let me tell you, it puts me head and shoulders above
            every other affiliate out there so if anything, it will only increase my sales.

            Will it take a little work?

            Yeah, but so what?

            It will give me something to do.

            Point is, I'm still not concerned. And please don't compare me to a thief
            because I don't appreciate it one bit.
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            • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
              Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

              First of all, it's not a law. It's a guideline...and a vague one at that in many
              areas.

              I didn't say I wouldn't, at some point in time, modify the blogs that I have
              that don't offer bonuses. I will, most likely, come up with bonuses for those
              products as well. Let me tell you, it puts me head and shoulders above
              every other affiliate out there so if anything, it will only increase my sales.

              Will it take a little work?

              Yeah, but so what?

              It will give me something to do.

              Point is, I'm still not concerned. And please don't compare me to a thief
              because I don't appreciate it one bit.
              Steve, I'm not comparing you to a thief.

              What I'm saying is, if the FTC says that it has to be done a certain way, it has to be done a certain way, right?

              You can't say: "Well, I'm a small fish so, It doesn't really apply to me" Can you?
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              • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                Jweremy,
                Steve, I'm not comparing you to a thief.
                Yes, you did precisely that. You didn't accuse him of being one, but you certainly compared him to it. I can quote the relevant phrasing, if you can't find it yourself.

                You can say that's not what you meant, and no-one can argue the point. But what you said is quite clear, and seemed intentional.


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                • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  Jweremy,Yes, you did precisely that. You didn't accuse him of being one, but you certainly compared him to it. I can quote the relevant phrasing, if you can't find it yourself.

                  You can say that's not what you meant, and no-one can argue the point. But what you said is quite clear, and seemed intentional.


                  Paul
                  Paul it wasn't intentional, but the analogy seemed to fit here.

                  The way Steve worded it was pretty much if you do things on a small scale then the guidelines don't apply to you and you have nothing to worry about.

                  The way I understand it, the guidelines apply to everyone pretty evenly, whether you make one sale a day or one hundred sales a day...am I wrong?
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                  • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                    Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

                    Paul it wasn't intentional, but the analogy seemed to fit here.

                    The way Steve worded it was pretty much if you do things on a small scale then the guidelines don't apply to you and you have nothing to worry about.

                    The way I understand it, the guidelines apply to everyone pretty evenly, whether you make one sale a day or one hundred sales a day...am I wrong?
                    Jeremy, 3 years ago I would have totally blown up over this.

                    Today, I don't care. Think what you want.

                    In my heart, I feel I am working within the spirit of the law.

                    If the FTC feels differently, they will let me know.
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  • Profile picture of the author Charlotte Jay
    Does anyone have a link to the new rules? I'm new to the business and don't know what exactly it all entails.
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  • Profile picture of the author GingerColeen
    Hey Washington -

    Please let me be responsible for my own decisions. Quit spending my money trying to protect me from myself. I'm sure you have much more important things to do. After all, you have a budget that needs tending to and hyper inflation and a bunch of other much more important things. Really, I don't need your help! Besides, the folks who established you in the first place, never intended for you to be making rules like this.

    Freedom means taking chances sometimes and being responsible for my own decisions. I understand that and I'm up for the challenge.

    I love my freedom. Please let me keep what little I have left.
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    • Profile picture of the author MarketingSPY
      Originally Posted by GingerColeen View Post

      Hey Washington -

      Please let me be responsible for my own decisions. Quit spending my money trying to protect me from myself. I'm sure you have much more important things to do. After all, you have a budget that needs tending to and hyper inflation and a bunch of other much more important things. Really, I don't need your help! Besides, the folks who established you in the first place, never intended for you to be making rules like this.

      Freedom means taking chances sometimes and being responsible for my own decisions. I understand that and I'm up for the challenge.

      I love my freedom. Please let me keep what little I have left.
      I agree with you to an extent. Freedom and liberty is a right for all of us. But fraudulent advertisers must be terminated. It's like stealing. Thieves should be terminated not given the freedom to harm.
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    • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
      Originally Posted by GingerColeen View Post

      I love my freedom. Please let me keep what little I have left.
      "An attempt to achieve the good by force is like an attempt to provide a man with a picture gallery at the price of cutting out his eyes." - Ayn Rand
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  • Profile picture of the author YouRockRadio
    Not scared. If you read the thing its mainly about endorsements of affiliate products and statements of disclosure about your connection to the affiliate, stuff like that. Nothing to worry about and not much to do accept get honest.

    Right now I think most of that will be a matter of enforcement, and the government is a little shorthanded right now. As long as you are not making false statements and faking endorsements without actual stats, I don't see any issue.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill Corners
    I don't see why anyone should be afraid to let their subscribers/customers know that they're pushing other people's products and getting a commission for it, it's just good business being honest about it.

    As for testimonials, I assume all are fake until proven real.

    I buy based on the benefits that the sales letter is able to convince me about, not what people say about it, so I don't really need social proof so much, although I do understand that it does help make the sale for others.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
      Originally Posted by Jack Sperot View Post

      I don't see why anyone should be afraid to let their subscribers/customers know that they're pushing other people's products and getting a commission for it, it's just good business being honest about it.

      Agreed!

      Now, would you mind giving up some links to your blogs where you tell the people reading the site that you are going to make an affiliate commission if they decide to buy?
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      • Profile picture of the author Chris Koltai
        Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

        Agreed!

        Now, would you mind giving up some links to your blogs where you tell the people reading the site that you are going to make an affiliate commission if they decide to buy?
        Funny that no one has taken you up on this, huh?

        I'm all in favor of the results-based testimonials section of the new ruling, especially when it comes to products in the health niche. IMO there's a huge difference between the impact of promoting a moneymaking system using your best result ("Joe Bloggs earned $20,000 his first week using my product, and he only had to give up eating, sleeping, bathing, and his first born child to do it!") and a health product ("Joe Bloggs cured his terminal lung cancer using my product, so why bother with chemo, or even seeing a doctor at all?")

        The first one upsets a few people when they only make $25 their first month, but hey, they get their rebate back from clickbank and all is well, onto the next overhyped product. The second one... well, not so much.

        As far as the whole affiliate disclaimer bit, that's taking it a bit far. I can see if they just want a disclosure page somewhere on your site a la privacy policies. That makes sense. If they want it on every review, every page, etc, that's a bit too much. If you're promoting good products to begin with (which you will if you'd prefer to avoid mountains of refunds) then the net effect for the consumer's "safety" is nil, but you'll lose sales anyway simply due to the psychological effect of telling someone you make money off of recommending the product.

        Think about it, when you walk into an electronics store and ask about whether TV A or TV B would make a better choice, do the employees:

        a) Compare and contrast the features, ask you relevant questions, and pre-sell you a bit before walking you to the register and selling you the TV.

        OR

        b) Compare and contrast the features, ask you relevant questions, and pre-sell you a bit before saying "Oh, by the way, if you buy this I'm going to make a commission."

        It's unnecessary, and the only people it's going to hurt are the little guys who fall in with the FTC fear tactics and try to be compliant before they're making any solid money.
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  • Profile picture of the author goindeep
    Simple answer: in my brief few years marketing online it is my opinion that the reason people are scared is because 75% or more of IMers are not honest. I would say that about 30% are outright scammers who publish BS and use fake testimonials.

    One of my mates was part of this group, he used to sell weight loss cd's on ebay and admitted to me that he uses fake before and after pics along with fake testimonials.

    Also i personally dont think new FTC rules will do anything to the current status of internet marketing, unless they can back up their laws with actual action then it wont mean a thing, my prediction: nothing much will change, there will be a few law suites mainly pushed by end consumers.
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonHicks
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author goindeep
      Originally Posted by JasonHicks View Post

      Nothing is going to change. The FTC can't possibly enforce these laws because the internet is too big. And they know this. Which is why they make extremely strict laws and rely on there "fear tactics" to prevent people from doing it.

      And once in a great while, they WILL take action. But in the past, it's always been focused towards companies making many, many millions. The last time it happened, was when they took action against the **** weight loss scammers.

      Guess what? They only went after only the advertisers, not affiliates. AND to these companies, the fines were NOTHING.

      At the end of day, it was worth it for these companies to scam people because after the fines were paid for, they still walked away with millions. It was just the "cost of doing business".

      If you're business is at least somewhat legitimate, you have NOTHING to worry about. If you're a flat out fraudster, I would be nervous, but even then chances are you won't get caught or it will still be worth it after all fines are paid for.

      That is the reality of it. Anyone who says otherwise, hasn't been around for every long.
      TOTALLY AGREE
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      • Profile picture of the author Cornerstone
        I agree with one of the post above with regards to posting a disclaimer near every link. I would rather put a disclaimer on the side bar of the page and let it speak for itself.
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        • Profile picture of the author clint48
          I didn't like the cam spam act, because I didn't think it would stop the bad boys and it didn't, I get just as much spam as I did before. The same thing will happen with this new rule, the good guys will comply and the bad guys will keep doing what they are doing now.

          When the Gov starts they don't stop, they will regulate until they put the good guys out of business, the bad guys will do just fine. Just my opinion.

          Clint
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  • Profile picture of the author eslucky
    Looking forward to the new ruling. It should eliminate some black hats and let the ethical and legitimate thrive.

    I used to own a mortgage company and when the state of Nevada but into effect laws that made fingerprints and background checks mandatory the industry lost thousands of brokers and agents. I think the same will happen here: the shady ones will go away.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nightowl
    I expect this will be enforced just as well as the CAN-SPAM Act. Ever since that went into effect, our mailboxes have been almost free of junk mail, right?

    This is likely to be no different. There will be some "big news" from time to time, but otherwise, as someone else remarked, not much will change. Your government at work.

    - Nightowl
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  • Profile picture of the author troy23
    I guess because people will have to build a business now instead of the one page clickbank sales site.
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    Riddle me this, why are not these affiliate networks not reverse engineering the process ? instead of paying a commission, why do not they grant a license of ownership of the product, a bit like owning a maccas franchise and then when you sell a product you pay a royalty fee to the owner, a bit like the few cents paid to maccas for each burger sold

    This way when i list or sell a product it is mine ( on paper similar to a plr product ), as it is mine i no longer need to junk up my page with disclaimers everywhere and this would also retain the now affiliate link but could be called a resellers link.

    Then lets say clickbank, every product i sold i would pay a 5 - 50 % commission to to content creator as a royalty.

    Other things that make this a bad thing to police at the moment is its complexity and seems not be be well thought out, if you need to place a disclaimer next to the ad the there can not be any more direct linking in adwords period, unless a new line is added to the ad box that ads this to the ad, any image or even text ads placed in the many lower level ad systems would not carry the disclaimer, if you ran adsense the same problem in reverse, those ads coming in ? do they have disclaimers on them ?, and again with image or or other company text ads, again no disclaimers.

    ? I am all for a honest clean Internet just this seems very hard and ugly rule for those who want to comply / implement with every link.

    you have in text links in articles, do we now need a disclaimer after each link there ?

    i have the full disclosure i my terms and am proud to be an affiliate and do not want to hide that, but the implementation / rules are not user friendly at all / nearly impossible andconfusing at best on the surface.
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    • Profile picture of the author Harvey Segal
      Question: Regarding the affiliate disclaimer issue does the FTC provide guidelines on

      * the wording to be used

      * the positioning or location of the disclaimer
      e.g once per blog or review site OR on every landing page

      * the prominence to be given (e.g what stops you using a small font)


      Harvey

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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    I agree, these new laws will protect consumers from Americans, but not from Nigerians. (I know that was terrible)

    on a more serious note, has it occurred to people on this board to just get your blogs hosted by offshore companies outside the jurisdiction of the American government and when your register the domains make sure you take advantage of the privacy option which protects your identity from being listed in the domain name owner search directories if you are that worried about the effects of the new law.

    And the same with content creators.

    I think that to a small degree these new laws will affect sales as people will be less likely to treat your article and recommendation as genuine when they find out you are receiving a royalty from doing so.

    if you live outside the US I think this is a golden opportunity the enter the merchant side of IM as you can use whatever LEGITIMATE testimonials you want and not have to somehow magically calculate the average results which should result in more sales than those who are US based.

    FYI. I do not encourage deceiving consumers and hope anybody that does so gets their ass handed to them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
    To use a cliche, you know the old phrase, "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns?" This law will affect honest marketers more than dishonest ones. Dishonest marketers who are cloaking their identity on the internet or who live in countries that are beyond the reach of the FTC are just going to carry on doing what they are doing, so I don't see this as shutting many of them down.

    I'd LOVE to see things like the fake white teeth/flat stomach blogs, with their fake testimonials and tiny disclosure language, shut down by this, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Honest marketers, on the other hand, who actually want to stay on the right side of the law, are going to have to clutter up every blog and website with ridiculous disclosure language which isn't going to make a significant difference to the consumer.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
      Originally Posted by Dana_W View Post

      To use a cliche, you know the old phrase, "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns?" This law will affect honest marketers more than dishonest ones. Dishonest marketers who are cloaking their identity on the internet or who live in countries that are beyond the reach of the FTC are just going to carry on doing what they are doing, so I don't see this as shutting many of them down.

      I'd LOVE to see things like the fake white teeth/flat stomach blogs, with their fake testimonials and tiny disclosure language, shut down by this, but I'm not holding my breath.

      Honest marketers, on the other hand, who actually want to stay on the right side of the law, are going to have to clutter up every blog and website with ridiculous disclosure language which isn't going to make a significant difference to the consumer.
      Agreed.

      - Is it going to make the Internet a safer place for consumers? NO
      - Is it going to get rid of the bad marketers and open up opportunities for the good ones? NO
      - Are shady and deceitful marketers the only ones affected by this? NO
      - If you're not involved with specific marketing practices that are on their radar, should you be afraid that the FTC is coming after you? Probably not.
      - Do you have to comply even if it means more work and lower sales conversions? YES

      If you disagree, prove me wrong with some real numbers. Let's all test these out and see what it does to your conversion rates:

      1) Remove the testimonials from your sales page or add a statement saying "the average person doesn't take action and thus doesn't get good results from this product."

      2) When you send out an email promoting someone's product, mention that while you only promote good products, you're actually biased because you're getting paid if they buy the product.

      3) Add a disclaimer to your review site saying that while you believe in your reviews 100%, all your reviews might be biased because you're being compensated if the reader buys the product.

      Let's not go back and forth arguing silly points just to be consistent with our prior statements. Lets get some real testing results. People lie, numbers don't.
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
        Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

        Let's not go back and forth arguing silly points just to be consistent with our prior statements. Lets get some real testing results. People lie, numbers don't.
        Ron, you want numbers? Okay, fair enough. And I can verify these with
        people like Dean Shainin, Alvin Yuang and Travis Sago.

        I have ALWAYS used incentive based affiliate marketing where I tell people
        that if they buy the product from me, I'll give them an exclusive bonus of
        some kind.

        I have finished near the top of almost every affiliate promotion I've ever
        been in, including some big ticket items.

        It works because you are doing something the average affiliate won't do.

        In fact, I can honestly say that the main reason I am a successful
        affiliate marketer is because I offer these bonuses and literally bribe
        people to buy from me. Hell, in some cases, I offer my time...days of
        coaching.

        Sure, for the affiliate who doesn't want to go the extra mile, these
        disclaimers probably will affect their earnings, though I have no evidence
        to support the opposite claim. But I do know for a fact from my own
        experience that you can tell people you're going to get money from their
        purchase and still make the sale IF you make it worth their while.

        Go ask Dean or Alvin or Travis and they'll tell you.

        It all comes down to the same thing.

        The lazy affiliate will never make as much as the one who goes the extra
        mile.

        IOW...there is always a way around every regulation.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
          Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

          Ron, you want numbers? Okay, fair enough. And I can verify these with
          people like Dean Shainin, Alvin Yuang and Travis Sago.

          I have ALWAYS used incentive based affiliate marketing where I tell people
          that if they buy the product from me, I'll give them an exclusive bonus of
          some kind.
          Steven, you're a super affiliate with valuable bonuses to give.

          Yes, giving incentives work. But lets not skew the numbers by assuming regular affiliates are going to become super affiliates by Dec 1st.

          I have affiliates promoting my products who are just trying to make ends meet and can't do what you do.

          Lets take what the new guidelines are mandating at face value and compare conversion rates before and after.
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          • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
            Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

            Steven, you're a super affiliate with valuable bonuses to give.

            Yes, giving incentives work. But lets not skew the numbers by assuming regular affiliates are going to become super affiliates by Dec 1st.

            I have affiliates promoting my products who are just trying to make ends meet and can't do what you do.

            Lets take what the new guidelines are mandating at face value and compare conversion rates before and after.
            Fair enough.

            My first 2 years of affiliate marketing (2003 - 2004) I didn't offer any
            kind of bonuses.

            My conversion rate was about 2% and I made about $1,500 a month
            from affiliate marketing.

            In 2005, I gave it up and started to sell my own products as I saw that
            as having more income potential.

            In 2007, I started to get back into affiliate marketing, using a lot of
            what I learned from writing sales copy (offering bonuses) and started to
            apply that to selling affiliate products to see what effect it would have.

            That year, my conversion increased to over 4% and I made over $4,000
            a month just from selling affiliate products.

            The numbers don't lie.

            The more you give, the more you get in return.

            No, a lot of affiliates who are flat broke, can just about afford to pay 10
            cents per click for Adwords or $2 for an article and have absolutely
            nothing to offer but their time (which actually is a great bonus) are
            probably not going to do any better.

            But Ron, isn't that the case with this business in general? Don't the ones
            who go above and beyond make the most income?

            My point is, those same people who you say are going to be affected by
            the FTC ruling are making what, 2 or 3 sales a month...if that? We're
            not talking about successful affiliates to begin with.

            Those who ARE already successful will understand that they have to adapt
            and if they do adapt, using the strategies that I have outlined, they will
            not only continue to make sales but will actually make more sales in the
            process.

            And yes, I am actually willing to bet on that.
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            • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
              Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

              ...
              In 2007, I started to get back into affiliate marketing, using a lot of
              what I learned from writing sales copy (offering bonuses) and started to
              apply that to selling affiliate products to see what effect it would have.

              That year, my conversion increased to over 4% and I made over $4,000
              a month just from selling affiliate products.

              The numbers don't lie.

              The more you give, the more you get in return.
              ...

              Steven,

              I really don't think Jeremy was attacking you. You're one of the most highly regarded people on this forum -- he knows that, I know that, you know that... everyone knows that.

              Your plan of offering a bonus is VERY solid. I think his point was that your other post about ignoring the rules (because you're a small fish) and hoping the FTC doesn't notice you is probably less solid. Because, technically, you're still breaking the rules and they could come after you if they chose to do so.

              When it comes to the FTC (and the other alphabet agencies), I'm gonna guess that ignorance will probably NOT be a valid defense.

              Johnny
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              • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

                Steven,

                I really don't think Jeremy was attacking you. You're one of the most highly regarded people on this forum -- he knows that, I know that, you know that... everyone knows that.

                Your plan of offering a bonus is VERY solid. I think his point was that your other post about ignoring the rules (because you're a small fish) and hoping the FTC doesn't notice you is probably less solid. Because, technically, you're still breaking the rules and they could come after you if they chose to do so.

                When it comes to the FTC (and the other alphabet agencies), I'm gonna guess that ignorance will probably NOT be a valid defense.

                Johnny

                Johnny, what you and Jeremy misunderstood is that I wasn't telling
                people not to follow the rules. All I said was is that if they didn't, they
                probably wouldn't have anything to worry about it they were selling some
                innocuous item and were just some John Doe with a blog.

                There is a difference between ignoring the rules and understanding the
                probability of being crucified IF you ignore them.

                IOW...if I decided not to be compliant, which I am, I am 99.9% sure that,
                given the products that I am promoting (all harmless) and that I am a
                nobody and not making any wild claims, not saying I am being
                compensated, isn't going to have the FTC banging down my door and
                hauling me off to jail when they have some serious offenders out there.

                That is ALL I am saying.

                As Paul put it, reasonable expectation of consequences, or something like
                that.

                I am NOT telling anybody to go break the law, not that this is even a law,
                because it's not...it's a guideline and, IMO, a toothless one at best.
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                • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
                  Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

                  Johnny, what you and Jeremy misunderstood is that I wasn't telling
                  people not to follow the rules. All I said was is that if they didn't, they
                  probably wouldn't have anything to worry about it they were selling some
                  innocuous item and were just some John Doe with a blog.

                  There is a difference between ignoring the rules and understanding the
                  probability of being crucified IF you ignore them.
                  Steven,

                  Nope. I got your point (and I think Jeremy did, too). And it's still a bad plan. You don't have to be the biggest offender. All that needs to happen is to have someone complain about you and you're instantly in their cross hairs.

                  But I know what you're thinking... who's gonna complain about a stinkin' "Grow Your Own Mushrooms" book, right? My guess would be another less-successful affiliate for the same product.

                  Regards,
                  Johnny
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                  • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                    Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

                    But I know what you're thinking... who's gonna complain about a stinkin' "Grow Your Own Mushrooms" book, right? My guess would be another less-successful affiliate for the same product.

                    Regards,
                    Johnny
                    Which would not be a legitimate complaint. What, you think the FTC isn't
                    going to investigate the legitimacy of these complaints IF they even
                    investigate at all?

                    Plus, one complaint is NOT going to put me in their cross hairs, not when
                    there are sites out there with thousands of complaints (I already gave
                    one personal example) who have been in business for years who still
                    haven't been shut down.

                    Again, another toothless regulation, or whatever you want to call it, in
                    yet another long line of toothless regulations from yet another inept
                    government agency.

                    I could diagram how to make real change but the steps involved would
                    be so complex that nobody in their right mind would take them.

                    But yes, if the FTC wanted real change...there is a way to do it.

                    There is always a way.

                    This isn't it.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
                      Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

                      Which would not be a legitimate complaint. What, you think the FTC isn't
                      going to investigate the legitimacy of these complaints IF they even
                      investigate at all?

                      Plus, one complaint is NOT going to put me in their cross hairs, not when
                      there are sites out there with thousands of complaints (I already gave
                      one personal example) who have been in business for years who still
                      haven't been shut down.

                      Steven,

                      All the alphabet agencies are complaint-driven. And they don't always go after the big fish, first.

                      Let me give you an example using the FCC...

                      I know a dealer for a communications device. The device is legal, but can be modified and thereby become illegal. Even though the device is legal and sold everyday, the FCC went after him with a vengeance.

                      Why did they go after him? Is it because he was the largest dealer? No. There are thousands of other, larger U.S. dealers.

                      So why him? According to the FCC it's because someone complained -- A SINGLE COMPETITOR of his.

                      It doesn't take a large number of complaints to wake the giant.

                      Johnny
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                      • Profile picture of the author bobsedge
                        Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

                        Steven,

                        All the alphabet agencies are complaint-driven. And they don't always go after the big fish, first.

                        Let me give you an example using the FCC...

                        I know a dealer for a communications device. The device is legal, but can be modified and thereby become illegal. Even though the device is legal and sold everyday, the FCC went after him with a vengeance.

                        Why did they go after him? Is it because he was the largest dealer? No. There are thousands of other, larger U.S. dealers.

                        So why him? According to the FCC it's because someone complained -- A SINGLE COMPETITOR of his.

                        It doesn't take a large number of complaints to wake the giant.

                        Johnny
                        I don't know anything about this case, but knowing how the agency works. The dealer must have been promoting the modification in one way or another or they were afraid that the modification technique would spread.

                        The FTC doesn't go after giants only. They either go after giants, go after smaller fish to make an example and scare off a large number of fish, or they look to cutoff something before it becomes problematic for them.

                        It sounds to me like they went after the dealer to stop a practice from becoming commonplace and to scare others who may be thinking of doing the same thing.

                        As a whole, the agency is very lazy and will follow a specific agenda before taking action.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                        Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

                        Steven,

                        All the alphabet agencies are complaint-driven. And they don't always go after the big fish, first.

                        Let me give you an example using the FCC...

                        I know a dealer for a communications device. The device is legal, but can be modified and thereby become illegal. Even though the device is legal and sold everyday, the FCC went after him with a vengeance.

                        Why did they go after him? Is it because he was the largest dealer? No. There are thousands of other, larger U.S. dealers.

                        So why him? According to the FCC it's because someone complained -- A SINGLE COMPETITOR of his.

                        It doesn't take a large number of complaints to wake the giant.

                        Johnny

                        Point taken...not worried.

                        Guess time will tell if I am right or wrong.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
                          Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

                          Guess time will tell if I am right or wrong.

                          Steven,

                          In truth, if fairness and logic prevail, you'll turn out to be right about all this. They should go after the big fish, first. And maybe they will. We just don't know, yet.

                          The only thing that makes me feel better about it is that, in the Jim Edwards interview (see the link earlier in this thread), Rich Cleland from the FTC sounded like a VERY reasonable and level-headed guy.

                          So maybe the sky isn't falling. I just don't want to be the test case!

                          Regards,
                          Johnny
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                          • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                            Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post


                            So maybe the sky isn't falling. I just don't want to be the test case!

                            Regards,
                            Johnny
                            No, I don't either. But if I am, then we are all in a sh*t load of trouble.
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                            • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
                              Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

                              No, I don't either. But if I am, then we are all in a sh*t load of trouble.
                              Not only that, I'd have to stop eating my popcorn and Kevin's nachos.....
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                              • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                                Ron,

                                I just re-read Alexa's post. Other than suggesting that you were using "overly emotive language," she said nothing about you at all. Nor was there anything there that seemed like an attack, even when I read it with my "nasty voice" on.

                                What I saw was the normal functioning of the multi-quote feature.
                                That's the way I see it Paul after several instances in this thread and others. Maybe I'm an oversensitive premadonna who thinks he deserves more respect than he does.
                                If you feel that you're being personally singled out for unfair attacks, point me to your examples. Please note that they'll need to be more combative than you normally are yourself...

                                You do seem to enjoy a good argument, Ron. Not that I have a problem with that myself, mind you.


                                Paul
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                                • Profile picture of the author ExRat
                                  Hi Paul,

                                  Not that I have a problem with that myself, mind you.
                                  Would you like five minutes, or the full half-hour?

                                  Hi Silvervixen,

                                  The FTC regulations will only affect internet marketers based in the United States
                                  Are you absolutely sure about that?

                                  Or are you using 'internet marketers based in the United States' quite broadly/loosely, as in internet marketers like myself who are not based in the USA, never have been, are based in the UK, have always been based in the UK but do business in the USA, have my sites hosted there and participate in affiliate programs based in the USA?
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                                  • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                                    Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

                                    Hi Paul,

                                    Would you like five minutes, or the full half-hour?
                                    Monty Python, right?
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                                  • Profile picture of the author silvervixen
                                    Originally Posted by markquinn View Post

                                    Actually it will affect any company or individual marketing to U.S. citizens. This is part of the reason the U.S. Safe Web was enacted - to make information sharing between the U.S. and other countries targeting U.S. citizens easier.

                                    Obviously, it will still be harder to go after companies or individuals in countries that aren't part of the agreement.

                                    Here are a couple cases that employed the Safe Web Act:
                                    Court Orders Spammers to Give Up $3.7 Million
                                    Court Orders Spammers to Give Up $3.7 Million
                                    Court Halts Counterfeit Check and Prize Scam
                                    The nations would have to be signatories to the agreement, as you noted, and considerable expense was likely spent to bring these cases. I don't think that small-time bloggers really need to be all that concerned, even if they're located within the U.S.


                                    Originally Posted by ExRat View Post


                                    Hi Silvervixen,

                                    Are you absolutely sure about that?

                                    Or are you using 'internet marketers based in the United States' quite broadly/loosely, as in internet marketers like myself who are not based in the USA, never have been, are based in the UK, have always been based in the UK but do business in the USA, have my sites hosted there and participate in affiliate programs based in the USA?
                                    The only way the FTC could do anything to anyone, where-ever they are is to win a court case wherein they've proven you've violated the regulations. Then they would have a judgment and can send a cease and desist letter to your web-hosting provider to get your site pulled down.

                                    If you're a scammer with a raft of complaints against you, then I'd imagine the FTC would file suit against you and pursue you to whatever extent they can based on international agreements, but like I said before, if you're a scammer you don't give a fig anyway and will just close down shop where you are and find a location more congenial to your needs. That's why those stupid Nigerian scammer emails are still circulating. As well as any number of flagrant spam you get in your email box.

                                    My two cents
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                                    • Profile picture of the author magentawave
                                      If you have a website that sells information you wrote on how to make money, and your website has lots of GENUINE testimonials from happy readers telling about the money they made because of what they learned from reading and applying your materials, then what will YOU do with those testimonials? Will you delete them from your site? Will you replace the "$3287.00 profit" testimonial (for example) with a bunch of X's like this? "$XXXX.XX profit" What will YOU do with those testimonials?

                                      Steve
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                                    • Profile picture of the author psresearch
                                      Originally Posted by silvervixen View Post

                                      The nations would have to be signatories to the agreement, as you noted, and considerable expense was likely spent to bring these cases. I don't think that small-time bloggers really need to be all that concerned, even if they're located within the U.S.




                                      The only way the FTC could do anything to anyone, where-ever they are is to win a court case wherein they've proven you've violated the regulations. Then they would have a judgment and can send a cease and desist letter to your web-hosting provider to get your site pulled down.

                                      If you're a scammer with a raft of complaints against you, then I'd imagine the FTC would file suit against you and pursue you to whatever extent they can based on international agreements, but like I said before, if you're a scammer you don't give a fig anyway and will just close down shop where you are and find a location more congenial to your needs. That's why those stupid Nigerian scammer emails are still circulating. As well as any number of flagrant spam you get in your email box.

                                      My two cents
                                      True enough. Another reason why the regs won't have much affect on the really nasty scams.
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              • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Ron Douglas
                1) Remove the testimonials from your sales page or add a statement saying "the average person doesn't take action and thus doesn't get good results from this product."

                I wouldn't be using that exact wording, but with any product involving "making money" that's easily and honestly done without losing sales over it.
                First, I don't understand the insistence by so many people (not just Ron - his name is just on the quote) that 'typical' and 'average' are the same thing. 'Average' is a mathematical term with an explicit meaning, and can easily be manipulated by cherry-picking the data included in the average.

                As in:

                "There are three kinds of lies - lies, damn lies and statistics"...

                Second, even if you had to use the word 'average', how many people truly consider themselves average? Survey after survey about a wild assortment of subjects (from driving ability to looks/sex appeal to intelligence) end up with results showing most people rank themselves 'above average'.

                I'd be curious to see the results of a test using the exact phrasing Ron put out there.

                We all live in Lake Woebegone, where the women are strong, the men are pretty and all the children are above average... :p
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        [DELETED]
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Ron, one other thing. I only have valuable bonuses for people who buy
          make money products.

          Yet...I still make sales offering bonuses for non make money products.

          In the case of a product where I have absolutely no physical bonus to offer,
          I offer my time. I offer support for X number of days. I can do this because,
          hey, guess what?...I actually got the product and used it. So I can truly
          help people with it. What a novel concept.

          And then there are products I sell where I have knowledge that I can offer.

          For example. I sell a gambling product. I offer, as a bonus, my own personal
          system for that particular game...something not covered in the book.

          Point is, if you really want to, you can find something to offer to your
          prospect that will make them buy from you and not somebody else.

          Again, that's got nothing to do with being a super affiliate (in some of
          these niches I use pen names) and everything to do with being a smart
          marketer.

          Let me put it this way. If I was just starting out as an affiliate marketer,
          I would still make considerable sales (providing I can drive enough targeted
          traffic to the site) even with the FTC guidelines.

          Ron, in all seriousness, it's not the guidelines that keep people from selling.

          It's their own inability to market effectively.
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          • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
            Ron, I agree with Alexa. You're forcing us to use words that the FTC
            itself is not forcing us to use.

            And let's be honest, somebody writing a review...

            "Man, I just got this product and it is absolutely flat out awesome..."

            is obviously biased. I mean if you're raving about a product that you've
            used, because of the simple fact that you've used it, you're biased.

            Hell, I'm so biased, I even tell people...

            "Look, I think this thing is so f***g awesome that if you buy it from me, I'll
            give you my super duper shiny new gizmo as a bonus."

            Okay, a little over the top. But you get my point.

            If you make your review convincing, showing why the product is so great
            (a thorough review of what it does and the results you've gotten) then
            hell, you can pretty much shout from the roof tops that you're getting
            compensated IF you give them a reason to buy from YOU and not some
            other schmoe on the Internet.

            I can do that...in any niche.

            Others that can...they'll survive.

            Those that can't...they won't.

            Just like with every other part of marketing online.
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          • Profile picture of the author psresearch
            Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post


            Ron, in all seriousness, it's not the guidelines that keep people from selling.

            It's their own inability to market effectively.
            ...or think more simply...

            For example, I think your "buy from me and get" is a great way to handle the FTC disclosure because it's more NATURAL from the consumers perspective.

            The issue of disclosures disrupting sales copy was an issue discussed a few years ago, when the affiliate disclosure issue first was being talked about.

            But phrases like "buy from me (or "this site") and get" are natural in ANY market and are something consumers are USED TO...instead of "compensated affiliate link" which for most markets I would imagine would leave the consumer scratching their head...and possibly a bit nervous (nobody knows that for sure yet).

            I still think the guidelines are actually more helpful to the big scammers who will ignore them, but as you've shown there are ways to work WITH them and not "around" them.
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            • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
              When I was a kid, and there were no canvasing laws in my state, I went
              around selling greeting cards.

              Here was my pitch.

              "If you buy these cards from me, I get a trip to The Turtle Back Zoo and
              you get a free gift."

              I sold them out...completely.

              People are NOT going to NOT buy from you just because they know you're
              being compensated in some way.

              If you're honest about it and give them a reason to buy from you and NOT
              somebody else...trust me...they WILL buy from you.

              Know what the problem is?

              Too many of you folks have been marketers for too long and have
              forgotten how to just be regular folk.
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  • Profile picture of the author deanfz
    In my opinion it doesn't affect only dishonsest marketers. I mean most of the traffic you get from google is from people who have probably never heard of you. they are not in your list and have no realtionship with you.

    Now if you state on everypage and every link that you are an affiliate and will make money if they buy then I think that a lot of them will leave your site. But that's just my opinion. I think it will kind of scare them. these people know nothing about affiliate marketing.

    Well, I hope the sales won't drop that much. Maybe I am wrong and this kind of honesty will make even more sales. Let's see.
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    • Profile picture of the author WritingMadwoman
      I see a lot of people saying things like "as long as you're honest, you'll be fine" but that's not necessarily true. Even an honest testimonial that claims a specific result will be out of compliance if the vendor doesn't also make it clear what the typical results would be. It's not enough to say results not typical - they want vendors to show exactly what the typical results are.

      Another area of concern is that vendors are going to be held 100% liable for their affiliates' actions. So if an affiliate emails his list and says "I earned $1500 in one day with this system, check it out!" The vendor has the burden of proof that such a statement would be typical for most users.

      Granted, most of us here are way too small to even be noticed by the FTC, but I'm still doing what I can to comply. It's not worth the hassles that would ensue by not taking it seriously.

      Wendy
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      • Profile picture of the author Jag82
        Originally Posted by WritingMadwoman View Post

        I see a lot of people saying things like "as long as you're honest, you'll be fine" but that's not necessarily true. Even an honest testimonial that claims a specific result will be out of compliance if the vendor doesn't also make it clear what the typical results would be. It's not enough to say results not typical - they want vendors to show exactly what the typical results are.

        That's the real headache for us, Wendy.

        What are typical results? It's very hard for us to know.

        To find out, we have to contact all our customers, get
        them to fill in a survey, apply statistical calculations
        and find out the mean results.

        Loads of unnecessary hassle if you ask me.

        This time could be better spent adding more value
        to the customers.

        But it's not just that. Will customers even give you
        their results in the first place? Will there even be enough
        respondents to get a meaningful sample size?

        How many of them will actually give the true story?

        It's making things unnecessarily hard for us.

        Jag
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  • Profile picture of the author Marian Berghes
    I'm just curios how will product launches will go now, since you can't use case studies or testimonials that show actual results.
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  • Profile picture of the author deanfz
    Yeah, I am also very curious to seee how all the gurus will solve this problem and howthey will launch their big products in the future.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    I'm not the least bit concerned. I think the new guidelines are great, and have been too long in coming.
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  • Profile picture of the author Susanna Dodd
    I don't mean to sound like an idiot, but what are the FTC new rules. I'm kind of lost in this subject and since I'm a rising affiliate marketer, I need to know what is going on and make sure I do the right thing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Wakunahum
      I don't see why people say no problem.

      There are lots of malicious things that could be done to hurt you.

      What if you are competing with someone on an affiliate product and they decide to make pages on the net with your affiliate link attached and purposely break the rules in attempts of getting you suspended?

      Could you imagine the time and effort it would take to prove that you are not at fault? The cost for a proper lawyer versus the government could be extreme.

      What if you lost your affiliate account because the vendor didn't believe you? The vendor doesn't want to lose a business based on a story like that.

      Proving it was someone else will be difficult because of anonymous IP addresses.

      I don't think it would take much effort to be malicious with laws like this and use them to hurt other people. But it would be very EASY to spam other people's affiliate links all over the internet in attempts of getting people in trouble.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
      Originally Posted by Susanna Dodd View Post

      I don't mean to sound like an idiot, but what are the FTC new rules. I'm kind of lost in this subject and since I'm a rising affiliate marketer, I need to know what is going on and make sure I do the right thing.
      Read this page as well as the PDF document here: Federal Trade Commission's Advertising - Edorsement Guide Videos

      Also watch the videos, it's a hoot.
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  • Profile picture of the author FriendlyRob
    It seems to me that if you run an ethical business, then none of this matters.

    Of course some of that depends on your business model. No one should be promising a $15,000 a month income, even for a free ebook. Even if it is doable, no ebook is going to do it for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
      Whoa! Seems to me we all need to sit down and get mellow with some happy juice. The FTC has no rulings against drinking Bushmills or Jameson (Note, I am not an affiliate for either distillery, but do regularly and indirectly invest my money in their companies )
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Andy,

        Why does the UK government think they have any business trying to control how I use data relating to UK citizens? I don't live there. I should be able to sell or trade whatever data I want, right?

        Or not?

        What can they do if I fail to respect their privacy laws? You might be surprised... But ... They don't own the Internet!

        Oh. Wait. They don't claim to. Funny thing, that.


        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author Andy Hart
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          Andy,

          Why does the UK government think they have any business trying to control how I use data relating to UK citizens? I don't live there. I should be able to sell or trade whatever data I want, right?

          Or not?

          What can they do if I fail to respect their privacy laws? You might be surprised... But ... They don't own the Internet!

          Oh. Wait. They don't claim to. Funny thing, that.


          Paul
          Hhhhmmm not going to start an argument with you Paul, I pick my fights carefully, this includes the FTC.

          However the data you mentioned above is data of UK citizens right? So that means we should have a say to protect it.

          I would agree if the FTC's new guidelines had details about data protection, but they don't, they are blanket rules telling me what I have to put on MY website, different to telling me what I can and Can't do with personal data from US citizens.

          Respectfully
          Andy
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          • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
            And let me clarify one other thing Jeremy.

            Yes, the "guidelines" apply to everybody.

            There is also what I call "reasonable application"

            If you're selling something that can't possibly do anybody any harm and
            don't disclose that you're an affiliate making a commission, the chances of...

            1. A complaint
            2. The FTC coming after you if there are enough complaints

            Are slim to none. That doesn't mean you don't comply. That isn't what I
            said. I don't condone purposely violating any regulation, even if it isn't a law.

            I'm saying, and I still stand by this, don't get your knickers in a knot over
            it because the FTC has bigger fish to fry...if they can even get those
            people.

            That is the reality.

            So if John Doe happens to have 1000 blogs selling innocuous products that
            nobody in their right mind would give a crap about, is it really worth all
            his man hours to go through each one of them and update them to appease
            a guideline that in all probability will never cross his path?

            The fine, if he's fined, will probably be less money than the lost time he
            took to change every single one of his blogs.

            There comes a point where you have to be sensible about this whole thing.
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    • Profile picture of the author dadvocate
      Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

      You're splitting hairs now Jeremy.

      If I say to somebody, "Buy this book from me and I'll give you (whatever)"
      in HIS mind, isn't he going to think I am getting money for his purchase?
      Not as an affiliate. At that point they could be thinking that you are the actual merchant. But it's like you say, the FTC will just give a warning first anyways, so it's irrelevant.

      Besides, as far as people worrying about how these affiliate disclaimers are going to affect sales, as well as people worrying about someone else using your affiliate link for their own selfish purposes, this is all the more reason to just LAUNCH YOUR OWN PRODUCT. This way, you don't have to worry about any of that crap. Plus, you get 100% of the profit. Plus, you don't have to worry (as an affiliate) about some idiot merchant suddenly pulling the plug on something without letting you know (after all your hard work). Even the nice ones that actually let you know, it's still (to me) not worth the time promoting THEM when you could be busy promoting YOUR OWN product.

      Kinda going off topic now, but the answer to those that are worried about said things (lol even the ones that aren't) is obvious.

      Teehee.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Hart
    What really annoys me is why does America think they have the right to police the internet??

    I have no control over political issues in the US (meaning I can't vote!) so why should I have to follow their new "guidelines".

    If I publish a website on the WORLD WIDE WEB and US citizens visit the site, is that my fault?? If I was targeting them via PPC and it could be proved then fair enough!

    Maybe the FTC should make it so Americans can only visit sites owned and run by other Americans, that way they can police their own people!! (BTW that would be a total disaster and more money for the US marketers)

    I know what your about to say:

    "you use US based web hosting, or promote a US product"

    So what! Its easily fixed, and what will happen then? More people will seek non American services and the product owners will register offshore.

    It really annoys me that I have to jump through hoops because someone in the US has decided to bring in new rules.

    Its a huge shame that the US is such a huge and profitable market, otherwise I'd block that traffic and give the FTC the finger.

    Andy

    ps. I'm not anti-American, I think the US is an amazing place with great people but your goverment and such...............

    STOP TRYING TO CONTROL THE WORLD!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Hart
    My understanding is, if you sell products online, the guidelines apply to you regardless of what you sell or how much of it you sell.
    This is exactly what I was referring to in my post above,what gives the American FTC the right to do this??!!

    Andy
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by tryinhere View Post

      well here is a question, I direct link in on some products with adwords how do i add the disclaimer to that ?
      Originally Posted by tryinhere View Post

      the first i heard today was you needed i am a affiliate earning money type notice by each link ? is the right and would that apply to each banner, video, article ? just seems messy, do not mind in the terms or disclosure section but dotted everywhere on the pages would look but ugly ?

      i need that hut in Tasmania i think ? can somebody clarify that part on exactly what is required, sounds horrible
      Adwords ads in a block where there is a clear statement "Ads by Google" already have the disclaimer built in - "this is a paid advertisement", no worries. Banners are understood to be ads, unless they are designed in such a way that they might be deceptive, in which case you need some type of disclaimer.

      Originally Posted by Tom Harvey View Post

      I do think that a little regulation as to outrageous claims is a good thing. Hopefully fewer people will be suckered in by some of these wild promises of Ferrari automobiles and seaside mansions in 6 months or less. The internet is a great place to earn a living but so many are duped into thinking that it is easy..
      The problem is, these people want to be duped. They want to believe that by plunking down their $17 or whatever they can do something they have never been able to do before. Those that put any credence into the claims of these hucksters may be dupes, but they are willing dupes.

      Originally Posted by Marian Berghes View Post

      I'm just curios how will product launches will go now, since you can't use case studies or testimonials that show actual results.
      My guess is that case studies will still be valid as long as they can be substantiated. The disclaimer will be something like "these are actual results, but since this is a new product we don't know what the typical result will be."
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    Much ado about nothing, people.
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  • Profile picture of the author doctfeelgood
    This is also coming into the Uk shortly and its main purpose is not to protect customers but to tax affiliates. There is a huge shortfall in affiliates making big money and paying no tax so this is the first step to regulate affiliates. Look out for the next step as in EU it is suggested that to become an affilator you must either have a company or register as self employed and submit your tax info to the vendor before you become an affiliator for their product. If you do not submit this information then the vendor will be liable for your tax?
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  • Profile picture of the author rwb24
    I believe the new rules are an attempt to further explain the original intent. Just hope it can do some good to slow down those who are dishonest.
    Robert
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    • Profile picture of the author psresearch
      Originally Posted by rwb24 View Post

      I believe the new rules are an attempt to further explain the original intent. Just hope it can do some good to slow down those who are dishonest.
      Robert
      Right. And has been covered elsewhere, not much is new except for the "no safe harbor" rule.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Hart
    If you look at the bigger picture it seems the FTC are just trying to "clean" up the web and make things more transparent.

    How successful they will be is debatable and only time will tell.

    I do agree with the overall changes they are trying to make (well most of them anyways)

    Andy
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    Seems to me like this is just another "smoke and mirrors" operation going on over at the FTC.

    They know full well that they can't clean it all up. They also know that if they start broadly casting nets and not doing clean surgical strikes on specific sites then they are going to start a wildfire of legal complaints from all over the world.

    So this much trouble over a handful of sites just does not feel right.

    I think they are trying to put a precedent in place for something bigger down the road.

    Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that you not comply. You should. You don't want to be one of the examples they hoist up this time next year.

    Matt
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    • Profile picture of the author psresearch
      Originally Posted by Matt M View Post

      Seems to me like this is just another "smoke and mirrors" operation going on over at the FTC.

      They know full well that they can't clean it all up. They also know that if they start broadly casting nets and not doing clean surgical strikes on specific sites then they are going to start a wildfire of legal complaints from all over the world.

      So this much trouble over a handful of sites just does not feel right.

      I think they are trying to put a precedent in place for something bigger down the road.

      Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that you not comply. You should. You don't want to be one of the examples they hoist up this time next year.

      Matt
      This actually would make a lot of sense. There's a newer white collar crime initiative with more cooperation between the various agencies.

      However, I've been told by an attorney who specializes in business opportunity and franchise law (and fraud) that the FTC refers more complex cases to the USDOJ.

      However, my GUESS would be that that FTC FIRST has to show it couldn't handle the case on its own. The biggest change has been the "no safe harbor" rule which in fact will make a lot of the FTC cases more "black and white" and easier to figure out which it can "handle on it's own" and which they'll need to refer.

      All a guess, but you're comment would make sense in light of recent, more broader initiatives across all the federal agencies.
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  • Profile picture of the author amoeba
    why to scare? its time to loose old tricks n get new!change is good,,sooner the better,,
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
    Alexa, I'm not sure why you feel the need to address me directly by quoting, using my name, and nit picking at every word I write. I haven't mentioned your name in any of my posts because I don't know who you are and it doesn't matter.

    You have your opinion of what affects your business and I have mine. I would say lets leave it at that, but I'm sure you will have to have the last word.

    I'm done with this thread. Peace.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Alexa, I'm not sure why you feel the need to address me directly by quoting, using my name, and nit picking at every word I write. I haven't mentioned your name in any of my posts because I don't know who you are and it doesn't matter.
      Oh, save it, Ron. That's an automatic function of the multi-quote feature of the forum software. You've been around long enough to know that. If you don't, the deficiency is not Alexa's.


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      • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Oh, save it, Ron. That's an automatic function of the multi-quote feature of the forum software. You've been around long enough to know that. If you don't, the deficiency is not Alexa's.


        Paul
        Paul, you seem to be an advocate for healthy and respectful debates. I think that in this case it's more than just the forum quote feature. There are ways to disagree without making it personal.

        If someone states their opinion several times without ever mentioning your name, but you feel the need to quote and refute every word they say over and over as if they're talking directly at you, that's provoking an argument.

        If I followed you around the forum and did that, you'd think I was a jerk.

        I'm not a target. If I'm throwing rocks in the pond, don't throw them directly back at me just because you're sitting next to the pond.

        That's the way I see it Paul after several instances in this thread and others. Maybe I'm an oversensitive premadonna who thinks he deserves more respect than he does.

        It's all good though . I understand the other side of the debate and what they're saying does have merit.

        Overall it's a good debate. The opinions in this thread seem to be split down the middle.

        Happy holidays to everyone and best wishes in 2010.
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  • Profile picture of the author sellingonline
    Straight to the point Steven, and if you are offering a bonus to buy through your link for instance, it is crystal-clear that you are selling them something and get rewarded too. So at the end, it's just the sneaky people that should worry - but then, why would you do that? Stay with good products and all is fine, end of thinking about ftc
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    • Profile picture of the author psresearch
      Originally Posted by sellingonline View Post

      Straight to the point Steven, and if you are offering a bonus to buy through your link for instance, it is crystal-clear that you are selling them something and get rewarded too. So at the end, it's just the sneaky people that should worry - but then, why would you do that? Stay with good products and all is fine, end of thinking about ftc
      I may be misquoting your intent here, but I think it's interesting that Steven says "buy from me" and not "buy through my link"...at least that's what I understand him to be saying.

      Again, non-IM people don't "buy through links". They buy from stores or buy from people.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    As I mentioned in an earlier post, the FTC faces a huge logistical nightmare in enforcing this (if it's the worst case scenario that some of us imagine), and if push came to shove what they're most likely to focus on are the mega-marketers like Mike Filsaime, Anik Singal, Matt Bacak, etc.

    They'd want to make a big example out of people like these, and it is highly doubtful that they'd even have the resources and the manpower to go after all the smaller fish in the pond. These big guys are sitting ducks, but the smaller fish are likely to be ignored, EVEN if it's the worst case scenario like some of the doomsayers here imagine.
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    • Profile picture of the author mikefilsaime
      Originally Posted by paulie888 View Post

      As I mentioned in an earlier post, the FTC faces a huge logistical nightmare in enforcing this (if it's the worst case scenario that some of us imagine), and if push came to shove what they're most likely to focus on are the mega-marketers like Mike Filsaime, Anik Singal, Matt Bacak, etc.

      They'd want to make a big example out of people like these, and it is highly doubtful that they'd even have the resources and the manpower to go after all the smaller fish in the pond. These big guys are sitting ducks, but the smaller fish are likely to be ignored, EVEN if it's the worst case scenario like some of the doomsayers here imagine.
      Thanks for making your point using my name and others. You are so right to think you could not have made your point without doing so.

      So what you are saying is they will go after me and guys like me b/c we are "Mega-something" and JUST for that reason regardless of the fact that their is no ground to go after us.

      Seriously, that is just irresponsible posting.

      Here is the reality.

      If you do **** wrong, you better stay up late fearing not just the FTC but also your customers.

      If you do **** RIGHT, you sleep well, give back, and look the FTC and THE IRS in
      the face and smile and say "Keep up the good work!"

      Maybe they will come after me for another bad movie like "GI Joe" just bc... will
      I am Mega-Something.

      I am just happy to be Mega Me.

      Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author bobsedge
    I, unfortunately, am more familiar with the FTC than most and I think we should all calm down a bit.

    Honestly, nothing is going to change tomorrow. The FTC put these guidelines in place to make going after what they perceive as fraud a bit easier. They have taken a couple of losses lately and want to make their ambitions more clear cut.

    They will not go after someone for simply not placing a statement that says they are earning a commission for recommending a product if that product is legitimate. They don't want to deal with the first amendment if someone states that in their opinion, ________ is the best e-book on _______ on the market. And what happens if that statement is inside an e-book?

    The water there is just too muddy.

    If they don't like a product (I would watch out if you are marketing **** Berry), they will go after the head and take down as many partners as possible. They will focus on the product first and the statements second. That is always what they do.

    The bottom line, market good products, do your best to abide to the guidelines, and don't make wild statements you can't substantiate. That should be common sense, guidelines or no guidelines.
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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    An important point is that everyone is in the same boat. At present millions of people are unaware of affiliates earning money when they make a purchase. In six months, after seeing one disclosure policy after another, they will become aware of the concept affiliate commissions.

    However, with everyone being an affiliate, they will still buy from some affiliate. After 6 months most people will simply assume that all site owners are getting a commission, it won't be a big revelation finding out about it. They even become blind to the disclosure like they do to banner ads.

    People are aware banks earn commission but they still go to banks. The only ones to worry about are the ones buying through their own link but they will probably be a very small percentage.
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  • Profile picture of the author dave147
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    • Profile picture of the author bobsedge
      Originally Posted by dave147 View Post

      My guess is there will be thousands of "complaints" to the FTC, some legit and some devious, but it will come down to who the FTC believe are doing the most damage to the consumer
      The FTC will not care if someone complains and says that they weren't aware that John Smith was earning money by promoting a product. They won't even care if a thousand people make that complaint.

      They only care if a large number of complaints come in that says the product sucks or was harmful and I was deceived into buying it.

      Nothing has changed except they are now able to more easily go down the food chain. Instead of just going after the producer of the product, they will now more clearly be able to go after those that market it.

      I am no fan of the FTC, but this is not really a bad thing. Just because you can market a product doesn't mean you should. Affiliates should start asking the question "is this a product I want to be associated with?"

      If a product is good and does what you say, it won't matter how you say it, you will always be safe. The trouble only starts if you market a crappy product and it draws the attention of people. Always be wary of "lotions and potions". The FTC hates them.

      If you have your doubts about someone losing 30 lbs in three days, don't market the product because if it gains popularity, it will get attention and people will be taken down.
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  • Profile picture of the author mrdomains
    Lots of copy out there that was so-so and relied heavily on testimonials from Joe and Edna and Grover who all had used and gotten terrific results with the "Taco Sauce 10-day Diet Recipe Book" or whatever for 150 bucks.

    If I get this reight, that will be harder to do now and more quality salespage copy will be needed out there. Good times for the copywriters!

    Anyway, I think some regulation of what is ok and what is not on the marketing front is a good thing. It is good for the buyers and therefore good for us in the long run.
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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    It may effect new entrants into the marketplace more. New people are not going to go to the trouble of learning the wide range of skills needed to succeed, if earning affiliate commissions is made more difficult or problematic.

    This could impact the market place as a whole with only established players remaining with a drastic reduction of new entrants put of by the demands of disclosure.

    Alternatively we could have more entrants with more people becoming aware of the concept of affiliate market by the ubiquitous disclosure policies! This should be an interesting period.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marian Berghes
    just wondering, If I have a testimonial along the lines of "This product is awesome it has helped me alot in my business and my income has grown faster then ever"...is this ok?

    as long as I don't say any actual sales figures or stuff It should be fine right?
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  • Profile picture of the author silvervixen
    The FTC regulations will only affect internet marketers based in the United States. Since the internet is world-wide, I don't think it is going to have much of an effect.

    For those of us based in the U.S., yes, we will have to add a disclosure and be more careful about testimonials. I don't use testimonials and I've added an "affiliate disclosure" to my "terms, conditions, and disclaimer" page on my blog. That should suffice, and as someone else said, if the FTC doesn't think that's sufficient, they'll let me know.

    That said, the real scammers aren't going to be phased. They were already breaking the law and they're not going to care about one more bit of regulation.


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    • Profile picture of the author psresearch
      Originally Posted by silvervixen View Post

      The FTC regulations will only affect internet marketers based in the United States. Since the internet is world-wide, I don't think it is going to have much of an effect.

      For those of us based in the U.S., yes, we will have to add a disclosure and be more careful about testimonials. I don't use testimonials and I've added an "affiliate disclosure" to my "terms, conditions, and disclaimer" page on my blog. That should suffice, and as someone else said, if the FTC doesn't think that's sufficient, they'll let me know.

      That said, the real scammers aren't going to be phased. They were already breaking the law and they're not going to care about one more bit of regulation.

      Here's a disclosure that I'd love to see mandated: U.S. politicians should have to reveal the name of every company who has given them campaign donations in excess of $5000, cumulative, every time they speak for or against legislation that benefits or hurts those companies. It seems to me that the laws enacted by Congress affect more people in the United States than anything some poor schmuck blogger can do by recommending products on his blog that he may or may not get paid for.
      Actually it will affect any company or individual marketing to U.S. citizens. This is part of the reason the U.S. Safe Web was enacted - to make information sharing between the U.S. and other countries targeting U.S. citizens easier.

      Obviously, it will still be harder to go after companies or individuals in countries that aren't part of the agreement.

      Here are a couple cases that employed the Safe Web Act:
      http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/07/spear.shtm
      http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/07/spear.shtm
      http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/04/cashcorner.shtm
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  • Profile picture of the author signupmakemoney
    I just went through all my sites yesterday to update them to accomedate the new FTC rules taking effect tomorrow.

    Wow, what a waste of time.

    I hope the FTC is happy, because all I did was state the obvious that any regular person would know. Only idiots don't know if you're promoting an affiliate link (product) or not.

    This is just another way for the Government to make more money off of small business owners and regulate what we do.
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  • Profile picture of the author lenlatimer
    There are not NEW rules, not even new guidelines, rather just articulation of existing law. These rules are already existing- have been for a long time.
    Also, they don't have the budget to go busting everybody on every little thing. If you are being honest you'll be OK - even if you mess up, they're not out to put you out of business - just correct it. It's the really exaggerated claims -like "lose 10 lbs a week!" -they're after.
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  • Profile picture of the author DianneC
    Wow! I just read nearly every post in this thread and I can't say that I am certain what I need to do - how discouraging! I like Steven's idea of a bonus for buying from him. I hope you are right, Steven, about us little fishes not having to worry. I intend to make my sites as compliant as possible. My motto is "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime" (I can't do the time!!!).

    Thanks for all your opinions and suggestions in this thread.

    Dianne
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    • Profile picture of the author Harvey Segal
      I hear that the FTC have an affiliate program - they pay you
      to spread the word around.

      I have to say I think they are the most wonderful and
      fantastic rules I have ever seen.

      Harvey



      .
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  • Profile picture of the author hotftuna
    With enough tens of thousands of pages of regulation, It would be practically impossible to conduct business and be in 100% compliance.
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    • Profile picture of the author Fun to Write
      Originally Posted by hotftuna View Post

      " I'm not anti-American, I think the US is an amazing place with great people but your goverment and such..............."

      Many in the US feel the same way. The Government is becoming oppressive and is taking away freedoms in the name of "protecting" us.
      Political tinged statements like these aren't allowed on this forum.
      Be careful, you're opening up a can of worms when you talk like this.
      Not everybody agrees with your political view.

      Keep it about marketing. Leave politics and religion out of these types of discussions.

      Thanks
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by Fun to Write View Post

        Political tinged statements like these aren't allowed on this forum.
        Be careful, you're opening up a can of worms when you talk like this.
        Not everybody agrees with your political view.

        Keep it about marketing. Leave politics and religion out of these types of discussions.

        Thanks
        Amen, sister!

        OOPS...
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        • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
          Tsk, tsk, tsk. Still a lack of happy juice?
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        • Profile picture of the author Fun to Write
          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          Amen, sister!

          OOPS...
          John

          You can call me sister. Or, sista friend.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayo
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Would you like five minutes, or the full half-hour?
      Sorry, Roger. I only argue in my spare time.
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  • Profile picture of the author web20sitemakerpro
    My opinion is the FTC are probably not out to persecute / prosecute people JUST because they haven't included XYZ form on their site. And surely, I would hope they had a 'decency clause' to offer a "please comply within X days" option to put things right on a website.

    That said, if it helps rid the 'net of the stupid / outlandish claims that could sucker newbies into buying a product, then that can't be bad. If it gets rid of fake testimonials, that too would be a bonus.

    Again, I feel that providing the webmaster is 100% honest with people, and doesn't make claims that they know they cannot substatiate, then there SHOULDN'T be any real problems.
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  • Profile picture of the author deanfz
    IT'S the first of december guys. Let's see what happens
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    • Profile picture of the author TheWinner
      The updated regulations put into place by the FTC is great news I personally think. Many have mentioned why, so I won't repeat it.

      I came across a post (I can't seem to find it now) that gave an example of disclosing affiliate compensation at this site - Money Saving Expert . He puts an asterisk on each link in a post that he is affiliated with, then explains the asterisk on the end of each post.

      The guy who runs this site is well known in the UK, earns tens of thousands on this site, and discloses everything

      Also, my brother who has an ecommerce site that he promotes to the UK market, has similar disclosures, and he's not doing too bad either .

      Steve's idea on giving bonuses is spot on, and I totally agree with it, you always need to go the extra mile. If you are struggling with change, go read "Who moved my cheese - DR Spencer Johnson".

      Also, thanks to Alexa who provided the link to DisclosurePolicy.org: Disclosure Policy, Disclosure Policy Generator . This can also be sufficient I reckon, by explaining your potential commissions in a disclosure policy and privacy. If there is a problem, the FTC will let you know.

      Just welcome the changes, it makes you a more astute marketer
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      • Profile picture of the author madscots
        I'm going to pull up a chair next to Rod and Kevin.

        Definitely read the blog on disclosurepolicy.org, they lay out the scenarios pretty succintly. And after all you do want to protect your buisness, right? (You are running a business? Right?)
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      • Profile picture of the author JeromyS
        Originally Posted by TheWinner View Post

        The updated regulations put into place by the FTC is great news I personally think. Many have mentioned why, so I won't repeat it.

        I came across a post (I can't seem to find it now) that gave an example of disclosing affiliate compensation at this site - Money Saving Expert . He puts an asterisk on each link in a post that he is affiliated with, then explains the asterisk on the end of each post.

        The guy who runs this site is well known in the UK, earns tens of thousands on this site, and discloses everything

        Also, my brother who has an ecommerce site that he promotes to the UK market, has similar disclosures, and he's not doing too bad either .

        Steve's idea on giving bonuses is spot on, and I totally agree with it, you always need to go the extra mile. If you are struggling with change, go read "Who moved my cheese - DR Spencer Johnson".

        Also, thanks to Alexa who provided the link to DisclosurePolicy.org: Disclosure Policy, Disclosure Policy Generator . This can also be sufficient I reckon, by explaining your potential commissions in a disclosure policy and privacy. If there is a problem, the FTC will let you know.

        Just welcome the changes, it makes you a more astute marketer
        Fantastic!

        I have been scouring this thread looking for some reference to some sort of tool or service that could generate this for me. I am way too small to go and hire a lawyer to do this for me and I don't intend to study law at this time, so I can do it myself. I think it is appropriate and would be seen as "due Diligence" if a marketer has shown that they have taken efforts to comply with the legislation. It would be unreasonable to expect us to know every aspect and application of the entire document, as we all know, even legal language is subject to interpretation. So with that in mind, I don't have the budget for a lawyer (yet), but I do understand that there are rules to be followed. Since I am not legally training, I need to outsource my disclosure statements, privacy policy, earning statement, etc. I know that many of these type of statements are very similar in context. So, like other legal documents, I need to find someone that can supply me with a generic policy that I can modify/customize for my own sites.

        Does anyone know of a reasonably priced and respectable service for these types of statements? (Thanks for the above site, I am going there right after this post to see if it will do the job)

        I really like moneysavingexpert.com, mentioned above. The way he does this is beautiful, "how this site is financed". He explains the simple concept of the honest affiliate marketer, "this product rocks, I tried it, I am telling you about it, cause it rocks, and I make a few bucks". Obviously, based on the page rank of this site, this site would be noticed, were something "not right", so I think its a good example of good disclosure.
        I think this policy on the whole is a good thing, soooo many scams out there and I would love to see many of them disappear. Plus, I think it'll make it easier for those of us marketing more ethically by, in time, raising the surfer confidence.

        JeromyS
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  • Profile picture of the author WildwindE
    I'm not worried, as I don't practice dishonestly. Agreed anyone who is uptight about this walks that thin line. Make the line thicker: BE HONEST. Hell, stealing the hard-earned money from regular folks is not a good habit to be in.

    Ever heard of INSTANT KARMA?
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  • Profile picture of the author Christie Love
    I'm wondering... has any Warriors been hit by the new FTC rules yet?
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