This week, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association released an updated version of its Social Media Marketing Disclosure Guide. The Guide is designed to help marketers comply with the FTC’s requirement that individuals clearly disclose any material connection they have to a company whose products or services they review.
WOMMA outlines five key responsibilities marketers have related to how advocates make disclosures. Marketers must: (1) educate advocates about their responsibilities; (2) monitor campaigns to ensure compliance; (3) takes steps to correct failures to comply; (4) ensure that agencies who engage advocates on the marketer’s behalf comply with the policies; and (5) ensure that employees make appropriate disclosures when they talk about the marketer’s products or services.
The Guide provides specific examples of how disclosures should be made in different contexts, including personal blogs, comments in online forums, video reviews, and “microblogs,” where the space for disclosures may be limited.
As we’ve noted before, the FTC has challenged companies when advocates failed to make the proper disclosures. If your company provides incentives to encourage consumers to review your products or services, you should consult the WOMMA Guide for tips on how to structure and manage your campaign.