Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Another Boring Blog Related Blog Post: New FTC Guidelines

Hi everyone!

If you haven't heard by now, FTC has updated their guidelines for blogs.  I'm not going to explain the changes in depth here, since a lot of blogs already have.  Basically, FTC wants us to blare all disclosures at the top of our blog posts, tweets, fb posts, etc.  I'm definitely not against disclosing.  I think it's essential for a trusting blogger-reader relationship.  I just don't like that it will make my blog look clunky and ugly.  But since FTC insists...

I will now disclose at the top of my posts using the following disclosure buttons.  All buttons will be linked to my disclosure page for more information.

Press Sample  Items were provided to me for consideration.  All opinions are mine and 100% honest.

Affiliate Links  The post contains advertorial links.  When you make a purchase through an affiliate link, I receive a small percentage or amount from the purchase total.  Affiliate links will also be labelled in text with the words "(ad)" next to it as well.

I Bought This  As stated, I purchased the products shown in the post with my own money.

Sponsored  Indicates that the post is an advertorial or sponsored post.  In other words, I have been paid to do the post.  I haven't done any posts like this before, but if I do, this button will be shown.

If a post shows both Press Sample and I Bought This, it means the post contains both provided and purchased products.

Many thanks to the following blogs, which I found very informative:
Beauty & Fashion Tech: For easy to understand details on the new FTC guidelines (here).  For information on how to make disclosure buttons on Wordpress (here).
Phyrra: For button ideas/ ideas on effective disclosures (here).
15 Minute Beauty Fanatic: For information on how to make disclosure buttons on Blogger (here).
Did My Nails: Clarifications on the FTC Disclosures (here).

What do you think about the new FTC regulations?  Also, please answer this question for me! Should disclosures be included in a post every time you use a provided product?  I feel like this is a grey area and I've always wondered what the right answer is.  For example, if you use a provided product in a post (such as a nail art post), but don't review or endorse the item outright, is it necessary to disclose?  This is for the posts where I may use a press sample for nail art, but I don't say anything else about the polish other than that I used it.  Help on this would be appreciated! :)


---Update 3/27---
If anyone's wondering about the answer to my question, Elizabeth from Did My Nails sent me a lot of helpful information!  Here's what she wrote:
Looking at the FTC website, I found a clearly worded Q and A page about their blogger guidelines here: http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus71-ftcs-revised-endorsement-guideswhat-people-are-asking

Given the question you asked in your post, I specifically thought you'd find this part interesting, where they talk about future mentions of a product you were previously sent for review... (quoting)

Several months ago a manufacturer sent me a free product and asked me to write about it in my blog. I tried the product, liked it, and wrote a favorable review. When I posted the review, I disclosed that I got the product for free from the manufacturer. I still use the product. Do I have to disclose that I got the product for free every time I mention it in my blog?
It probably depends on how much you say about it. A casual remark like “I use X brand food processor” may not raise an issue under the Guides, but each new positive endorsement made without a disclosure could be deceptive.
It sounds to me like they're saying that if you use a "provided" polish in nail art, like you mentioned, it's not necessary to include disclosures unless you specifically say something like, "And I used China Glooze Huckleberry Hives for the flowers because it's the prettiest colour ever, and the consistency is great for dotting!" or whatever. ^_-

Hope you guys find this as helpful as I did!  I think Elizabeth is going to post some more on the FTC guidelines on her own blog, so I'll definitely link those posts here when they go up.  Many thanks to Elizabeth again for all the help!  And if you don't already follow her blog, you should, because she's kind of really awesome. :)


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