How to Keep the FTC Happy

Whether you feel this way or not, as an affiliate you are now an advertiser who must follow the FTC’s advertising guidelines. That can sound scary, but it really comes down to following the basic principles of advertising law:

  1. Advertising must be truthful and not misleading;
  2. Advertisers must have evidence to back up their claims (“substantiation”); and
  3. Advertisements cannot be unfair.

This means that any time you are using a referral link, affiliate link, or have any affiliation to a brand, you have to disclose that information clearly and publicly. We also require these rules to be followed when you submit a piece of content to be reviewed for free advertising. Even if you are not based in the United States, if you are working with a brand that is in the US (like Tailwind!) you need to follow these rules.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rosIrY_Aagc
Short video from the FTC on disclosures

To break it down simply, we ALL need to keep the FTC happy. But don’t worry – we’ve translated the FTC speak to break it down into simple, actionable tips.

 

1. Tell your audience you’re an Affiliate!

 

a) We want you to say it loud and proud. You shouldn’t try and hide the fact that you’re an affiliate for a company, you should be proud of it!

b) This disclosure MUST COME BEFORE ANY LINKS! Yes I’m yelling. It’s that important!

c) Your disclosure can not be linked on a separate “Disclosure Page”. The full text MUST be included on your post.

d) Tell the truth! If Tailwind helped you gain 1,000,000 pageviews, awesome! Tell the world (but inculde typical results – more on that below). But if you earned 100,000 pageviews using Tailwind, don’t lie and say you earned more.

Your disclosure must include:

 

  1. The fact that you are using an affiliate link.
  2. A description of the affiliate link — the fact that you make a commission if someone clicks.
  3. If you are writing the post for a special bonus, you must include that you were compensated.
  4. If you’re creating a video, the disclosure needs to be either mentioned at the beginning of the video, included at the top of the description, or added as a visible overlay before the brand is mentioned.
  5. In social media posts, you need to use #sponsored, #ad, or #paid – no ambiguous hashtags – at the top of the post.

To make it simple, just copy and paste or read on camera the disclosure below:

“This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you choose to click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.”

If the post is for a special bonus, use this disclosure:

“This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you choose to click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. I was also compensated to create this post, though all opinions are my own.”

2. Including Typical Results

 

a) If you make any claims about your personal success, you must include typical results.

b) This one is even easier! All you have to do is link to our typical results page (with some context of course).

To make it simple, just copy and paste the disclosure below with the links.

“These are my personal results, but Tailwind also publishes the Typical Results of Tailwind for Pinterest/Instagram Members every year, so you can see exactly what the average growth rate looks like for their members.”

• Typical Results for Tailwind for Pinterest members can be found here: https://tailwindapp.com/blog/typical-results-of-tailwind-for-pinterest-members/

• Typical Results for Tailwind for Instagram members can be found here: https://tailwindapp.com/blog/typical-results-of-tailwind-for-instagram-members/

3. You have to be accurate!

 

This should come as no surprise, but we need to make sure that your posts include 100% accurate information. Be sure to review our accuracy checklist by clicking here.

That’s it! Not too bad right? You can find a more in-depth summary of FTC Compliance here.