The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has mandated that affiliate marketers disclose they are being paid to promote products and services. This is to keep transparency and honesty in advertising, and to keep consumers informed.
As a precautionary measure, you should be following the FTC rules for disclosure.
The law strictly applies to entities “doing business in the US,” however, in scenarios where the FTC has no jurisdiction over the affiliate who is located outside the US, they may go after the US-based company that is paying the affiliate.
What affiliates should know:
- Ensure that your marketing in a “truthful, substantiated and not deceptive or unfair” manner
- Do not publish false content
- Do not offer incentives to consumers in return for their response to any ad, unless the offer’s terms and conditions of the offer are clearly and conspicuously disclosed
- Do not promote “fake news articles”
- Always clearly disclose when the content is an advertisement
- Do not post false or unsubstantiated endorsements, and be sure that you always disclose any material connections with the merchant
- Do not infringe trademarks, copyrights, patent rights or any other intellectual property right
An affiliate disclosure can simply be “Disclosure: Compensated Affiliate.” You can make this longer if you prefer. It’s just important that the disclosure is clear, conspicuous and geared to alert the reader that there is a 'connection' between the endorser and the merchant.
If you would like to read or download a copy of the full FTC disclosure of compensation document you can retrieve it here.