What You Should Know About Federal Trade Commission (FTC) GuidelinesIf you’re promoting anything on your website, you should be aware of the guidelines that were set forth by the FTC in 2009. In a nutshell, the FTC has ordered individuals and businesses to disclose when being paid to promote anything online. In addition, testimonials have come under fire. If you use testimonials on your website, they need to be (1) real, and (2) they cannot over-promise.

The guidelines are overwhelming and frustrating, but you do need to know about them to avoid steep penalties. In most cases, adding a disclaimer to your site and disclosing on social media when you send out a sponsored link are most essential. I’m not an attorney so I can’t tell you what to say, but do your homework and make sure you are in compliance.

You can read all the guidelines for yourself at http://www.business.ftc.gov/advertising-and-marketing/endorsements

Karl Palachuk also wrote two excellent blog posts regarding this topic:

http://blog.smallbizthoughts.com/2010/01/ftc-guidelines-part-one-good-intentions.html and http://blog.smallbizthoughts.com/2010/01/ftc-guidelines-part-two-everyones.html.

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