Affiliate Summit West 2017 Highlights: FTC Compliance Challenges

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More than 6,000 digital marketers from over 70 countries gathered at the Paris Las Vegas hotel for Affiliate Summit West 2017. Attendees included online publishers, bloggers, traffic sources, retailers, networks, digital agencies, technology companies, and a number of my BrandVerity colleagues.

In addition to topics regularly covered during Affiliate Summit conferences—affiliate marketing best practices, SEO, influencer marketing, etc.—new to this conference was a focus on FTC compliance, with three sessions devoted to this subject.

I had the pleasure of speaking at one of those FTC-focused sessions. My talk, How Big Brands Handle FTC Demands was on the FTC’s guidelines for affiliates and what big brands are doing to maintain a compliant program.

Below are the highlights: 

Affiliates are seen as part of a brand’s marketing team and if they receive any form of compensation (monetary, discounts, freebies) they need to have a proper disclosure stating they are paid. There is widespread non-compliance with FTC guidelines by affiliate bloggers. BrandVerity conducted a study and found that 96% of blogs failed to meet the FTC standards on disclosures. The FTC is cracking down on this type of activity, so brands are working to develop compliant programs. Some brands are handling this by screening affiliates from their programs when proper disclosures are missing or requiring a unique, brand-specific disclosure from their partners. In order to develop a compliant program we are recommending you learn the FTC guidelines for your industry, develop a compliance process, and enforce the rules.

The complete presentation is available

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