FTC guidelines, transparency in the blogosphere
A few months ago I received an email from an event organizer of a local beerfest. They mentioned my Klout and asked if I would be willing to Tweet about the event in exchange for two free tickets.
I politely passed on the opportunity simply because I didn”t know how to handle that situation. I had even been to the event the year before so it wouldn”t be a stretch for me to endorse it online – but I was worried that people wouldn”t trust me if I started promoting sponsored Tweets.
This from PR Sarah Evans is a great guideline for what “bloggers, brands and PR pros need to know” when it comes to FTC regulations and online communication. A few takeaways include:
- As PR pros, we”re responsible for disclosing relationships online. This can include in-kind payments for product reviews, research findings and testimonials.
- Adding hashtags can help you adhere to transparency while acknowledging your relationship with a brand/program/ambassador campaign, etc. WOMMA has some helpful guidelines, which are the first three in the list below:
- #spon – Sponsored
- #pain – Paid
- #samp – Sample
- #ad, #client and #advisoryboard can also be used.