In 2009, the FTC began requiring that bloggers disclose any special interests in or connections to products, services, etc when writing about and/or endorsing them.
“The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long standing principle that “material connections” (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect – must be disclosed. These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other “word-of-mouth” marketers.”
This means, for example, if an author gave me their book to read and I end up endorsing it, or if I have a link on this site that pays me a penny per click or an ad that generates a dollar a month, and on and on, it needs to be disclosed.
Since it would be overwhelming for me (and you) to read disclaimers right and left, I (along with many others in the Internet world) have opted for a “disclosures” page.
While the ultimate purpose of this blog is to have fun, meet new people and share ideas among peers, I may be paid directly or indirectly for some (or all) of the content I address (in posts, video etc).
I am hereby stating that you may assume that I have a material connection to any product, service, person, or otherwise that I make reference to on my website/blog. You may make the same assumption of anything I share on social media and pretty much anywhere else I can think of on or offline.
You have been informed. I make money. I get free stuff. I am blessed.
Why disclose all content even if some isn’t really making money?
Simply for the sake of safety. In today’s world, anything you say or do can have a material impact on your employment and how you “gain,” whether it is cash or in-kind. You can trust, however, that I will always promote people and products that I know well, love and support—people and things that I feel will help my readers.
I’m not sure how far the FTC goes with all the disclosures. I mean, how far does “word of mouth” go? If grandma tweets about the hairnet she got in the mail, but doesn’t disclose it was free, is she busted? I guess that doesn’t matter, because grandmas don’t tweet.
KevinKauzlaric.com is designed to inspire. I am not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. Everyone’s personal situation is fact-sensitive. If legal advice or other professional assistance is required, go hire somebody.
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