December 7th, 2009 | Corporate News
This message is to notify you about important changes we have made at SponsoredReviews.com. Due to the newly released “Revised
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” (.pdf) by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), we have updated our system to allow advertisers to require in-post disclosures on all of their paid posts. With this option selected, our system will automatically look for our in-post disclosure badges upon the blogger submitting a completed post.
Advertisers who are concerned about the revised guidelines should utilize the in-post disclosure system to insure compliance (If you are concerned about the search engines using the disclosure badges to track down your paid posts, please read below about how our badges our signature free). However it is important to note that in-post disclosure is not required by the FTC. Bloggers can also include a Site Wide disclosure that clearly states that they do paid posts. In addition the guidelines only refer to endorsements/testimonials, articles that do not make endorsements should not raise any flags, for that reason we now have new “Post Type” options for Advertisers. We highly recommend utilizing the “Article” or “Content Rewrite” options and asking bloggers to write an article about a subject related to your industry versus asking them to write a “review”.
New Disclosure Options
- No Preference
It is up to the blogger to decide how they disclose, the advertiser does not have a preference.
- In-Post Required
Blogger must use the disclosure badge/image selected by the advertiser in their post. Our system will check for the disclosure badge upon the blogger submitting the completed post.
- Site Wide Only
Advertiser does not want In-Post disclosure but having a site wide disclosure on the blogger’s site is acceptable. A Site wide disclosure is a written statement that the blogger accepts compensation to write reviews.
- No Disclosure Needed – Not a Review
If the post is not a review and will not endorse the advertiser than the advertiser can request non in post disclosure. As always the blogger’s still have the option to do Sitewide disclosures on their blogs.
New Post Types
For a long time we have had Advertisers requesting the ability to select what type of post they want the Blogger to write. Many advertisers do not want reviews they simply want an article about a particular topic (containing their links), or they want a blogger to simply repost content (Such as a Press Release) exactly as they have it written. The great thing about articles is that if they are not an endorsement of your company/service/website but are simply educational than there arent as many concerns about FTC rules and disclosures methods, although we would still suggest requiring in-post disclosure if you have any concerns about the new FTC regulations. Read below to learn about how our disclosure badges are “Signature Free” and will not allow search engines to automatically devalue your paid posts.
Here are a list of the new post types:
If you choose “article” as your post type you are asking the blogger to write an article about whatever subject you request. For example you could ask bloggers to write an article about a keyword/subject related to your business. Articles are a great option for those concerned about FTC regulations regarding endorsements in blog posts. Instead of writing a review about your company they are simply writing an article about a particular subject and including links to your site (without endorsing your company/website).
- Content Rewrite
A content rewrite is where you provide an article (or some other type of content) that you want the blogger to rewrite and post on their blog. The advantage of having a blogger rewrite a piece of content versus writing it from scratch is that you will get higher quality articles since the blogger is given better direction. It is much easier for a blogger to rewrite an article then it is to write one from scratch, especially for topics that they may not be familiar with.
- Content Repost
A content repost is where you provide an Article/Press Release/Advertisement (or some other type of content) that you want the blogger to repost on their blogs exactly as it was written (Make sure that the content contains your required links). This is especially good for distributing press releases or promotions where it is important that the content be worded correctly. It however is not recommended for SEO link building since duplicating content on every blog that re-posts your content will reduce the effectiveness of the links coming from those posts.
Questions and Answers
Q: Do I have to require In-Post Disclosure Badges on all of my paid posts.
A: No, You do not have to require In-Post Disclosures via our system. Bloggers can do site wide disclosures at their descretion. In addition, if you are selecting a post type such as “Article” and you are not asking the blogger to endorse your website there shouldnt be any issues with FTC rules.
Q: Wont the disclosure badges make it easy for the search engines and/or my competitors to track down my paid posts?
A: Our disclosure badges use a random source URL created by TinyURL. The src url of the image is different for every paid post it is used on, so there are no signatures left that can be used to track down your posts.