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December 13th, 2006 · 6 Comments

Warning: May Contain Nuts

OK maybe not die but according to the article on Copyblogger, it seems that the American Federal Trade Commission is pushing to make it law that if you market to US citizens that you need to clearly state if you will be compensated for any affiliate links on your site.

Now this is an interesting development for any internet marketers. I’m with Brian on this one, I don’t like using the (aff) ‘disclaimer’ after an affiliate link as I think it looks ugly but if the FTC have their way, I’m going to have to find some kind of mechanism for letting readers know if they’re about to click on an affiliate link.

Will this affect people running AdSense? Will this affect people running advertising of any kind on their site? Surely most people are smart enough to realise that if a website is running an advertising banner that the site owner is being compensated for it.

What about people like me who are based in the UK, have a site hosted in the UK but happen to have American visitors?

As one of Brians commenters suggests, is putting a standard disclaimer in your sites TOS sufficient? Something along the lines of “Some of the links on this site are affiliate links and the site owner may get paid and be able to feed his children this month if you click on them”?

Who decided this was necessary anyway? It just strikes me as being overkill, to be honest. I think the FTC are assuming that people are stupid and don’t realise that site owners get compensated for running adverts. It’s like these crazy signs you see on the side of a bag of peanuts – “Warning: May Contain Nuts”.

Presumably this same sign can be seen on the side of the FTC headquarters.

Tech Tags : , , ,

Tags: Making Money Online

6 responses so far ↓

  • Mike // Dec 13, 2006 at 5:20 pm

    I’ve just read the original report on the Washington Post and am staggered at the closing line.

    A 2005 survey of 800 consumers by market research firm Intelliseek found that 29 percent of participants age 20 to 34 and 41 percent of those age 35 to 49 said they would be unlikely to trust a recommendation again from a friend whom they later learned was compensated for making the suggestion.

    But surely if someone has pointed you in the right direction or has solved your problem, why would you not want them to be compensated? If you have got what you want at the price you want to pay, what harm is there?

  • Blog Bloke // Dec 15, 2006 at 9:02 am

    So sue me. Isn’t that the great American way?

    Whatever happened to Caveat Emptor? Another British invention usurped by the already overlegislated Yanks.

    Mark my words, the murrican legislators and a-listers are going to destroy the blogosphere.

    It’s a brave new world.

  • Cohen // Dec 15, 2006 at 8:07 pm

    Can anyone recommend me affiliate programs where you can use text links?
    I need to know of all the affiliate programs out there where you can use text links and that pay per click.
    thanks in advance….

  • Mike // Dec 16, 2006 at 1:29 pm

    I think most affiliate schemes will allow text links, Cohen. In terms of those that pay per click, it depends on whether you’re looking at contextual advertising (AdSense, YPN, etc) or a pay per action (i.e. lead generation). If the latter then simply go to your affiliate control panel and do a search based on that.

  • Mike // Dec 16, 2006 at 1:31 pm

    D’oh! Hit the Submit button before I’d finished…I recommend Commission Junction in terms of an affiliate partner. It might be worth checking out the DP Forums for others.

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