The FTC Disclosure Guidelines & International Affiliates

The world we live in is full of rules and regulations that govern how we conduct ourselves in society. The world of affiliate marketing has not escaped having to conform to a certain code. In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) put together a set of guidelines that digital marketers have to abide by.

As with most other rules, regulations and guidelines, they aren’t always clear cut and they way in which they are written can be and are interpreted differently. This can leave people in a situation where they think they are following guidelines when in actual fact they aren’t.

This situation can get a little tricker when it comes to international affiliate marketers who promote products and services of U.S. companies because its easy enough to think, ‘I don’t live in the U.S. so I don’t need to follow the guidelines’.

But, that isn’t really the case because in some situations, advertisers will stipulate that their affiliates are required to disclose the connection between them and the affiliate. In that situation, you don’t have a choice but to comply if you want to continue the relationship with the advertiser.

As far as advertiser who don’t impose such regulations on affiliates, this is where it might seem like you could get away with no disclosure. After commenting on What Marketers Need to Know About the New FTC Disclosures, I discovered that the FTC has treaties and agreements with various countries around the world which effectively gives them reach beyond U.S. borders. A list of those countries/regions that the FTC has agreements with can be found here: http://www.ftc.gov/oia/agreements.shtm

So, if you are an “international affiliate” and you aren’t abiding by the FTC Disclosure guidelines, it may be a good idea to start doing so. Besides the fact that there are rules to follow, there is also the matter of good faith towards your readers/site visitors who for one reason or another may feel cheated if disclosures aren’t made.

The .com Disclosure Guide can be found here

Are you an international affiliate? Do you bother to follow the rules?

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