Disclosure Policy – A Tool – A Necessity!

September 29, 2008 in Blog Education, Blog Tools by Diane

November 12th, 2010

**** This is an update to the original blog post that was done On Sept 29th, 2008s****

Full Disclosure

Full disclosure

Part of success BlogNets Mission is to help and inform Bloggers of different aspects of blogging one of them is having a disclosure policy on their blog.
Many people will ask why do they need a disclosure policy  or feel that disclosure policies  are only for business blogs, corporate blogs or  for those bloggers who are  the super bloggers with hundreds of readers.
The fact is that regardless of what kind of blog you have, whatever niche you are in or even how many readers/subscribers you have… you need some kind of disclosure policy!
Federal Trade Commission
Disclosure policies were a big topic when in 2009, the Federal Trade commission released its new guidelines concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising.  For the very first time, the guidlines included blogs as well as other social media and stated that bloggers have to reveal ANY connection between themselves and any company they affiliate with, which might affect what a person says about a companys product or service.
Why should any of this matter to you?  when you are asked by a company to write a review of a product or service and in exchange you will get something, then this might affect what you write about any said product or service.  Case in point, General Mills recruited bloggers to to review different products and enabled these people ( mostly moms) to run giveaways on their blogs. General Mills recuited more than 900 bloggers to do these reviews and said “: “If you feel you cannot write a positive post regarding the product or service, please contact the MyBlogSpark team before posting any content.”   A question that could be and in fact was asked… If the intent is to have only positive reviews, then how can a potential consumer have a way to get an objective feel for a product, when in essence people are getting paid to say positive things?
There is some great information about when or what bloggers should say in their disclosures:
If you you are needing to understand the FTC’s changes then you can go to Disclosure Policy.org and watch the videos by Mary Engle from the Federal Trade Commission, that are well done and easy to understand.
Writing your own disclosure policy need not be a lengthy affair and you can write is as a page/subpage on your blog or you can write it as part of any post you create that is a paid post.
Create your Disclosure Policy
If You want you can go to Disclosure Policy.org where they have created a very simple way for people to protect themselves and make their blog transparent to the reader and what is great is that it is a free service.
Take the time to protect yourself…even if you do not live in the United States, having a disclosure policy is just good sense and good business.