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What is an FTC Affiliate Disclosure?

When affiliate marketers — or other people who might be compensated for mentioning brands and products on the internet — talk about the brands and products which they are paid to talk about, the FTC requires that this relationship is fully disclosed at all times.

That means that you have to tell your audience that you are getting paid as an affiliate.

The reason for this is that people naturally are more skeptical of paid endorsements than they are of those freely given. If someone is just talking about a product because they like it, but not getting paid, you are more likely to believe them.

Consequently, the FTC decided that if you were getting paid to endorse a product, but didn’t let people know that you were getting paid, you are deceiving them.

Please use this basic Lionfinch Affiliate Disclosure in accordance with the FTC rules and regulations on Affiliate Disclosure. 

LionFinch Affiliate Disclosure

In compliance with FTC guidelines, Lionfinch products compensate their affiliates with a small commission from each sale. The price you pay for all LionFinch items will remain the same.

This website contains endorsements for products and services, which means when you click on a link that we recommend, we may receive a commission.  Not every link is an affiliate link, but some are.

We may occasionally place banner ads on the site that will also result in commission.  Furthermore, some of the text/image ads throughout the site are from LionFinch.

What about Affiliate or Network Marketing?

I'm an affiliate marketer with links to an online retailer on my website. When people read what I've written about a particular product and then click on those links and buy something from the retailer, I earn a commission from the retailer. What do I have to disclose? Where should the disclosure be?

If you disclose your relationship to the retailer clearly and conspicuously on your site, readers can decide how much weight to give your endorsement.

In some instances - like when the affiliate link is embedded in your product review - a single disclosure may be adequate. When the review has a clear and conspicuous disclosure of your relationship and the reader can see both the review containing that disclosure and the link at the same time, readers have the information they need. You could say something like, "I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post." But if the product review containing the disclosure and the link are separated, readers may lose the connection.

As for where to place a disclosure, the guiding principle is that it has to be clear and conspicuous. The closer it is to your recommendations, the better. Putting disclosures in obscure places - for example, buried on an ABOUT US or GENERAL INFO page, behind a poorly labeled hyperlink or in a "terms of service" agreement - isn't good enough. Neither is placing it below your review or below the link to the online retailer so readers would have to keep scrolling after they finish reading. Consumers should be able to notice the disclosure easily.

They shouldn't have to hunt for your disclosure. It should be straight forward.

Is an"Affiliate Link" by itself an adequate disclosure? What about a "Buy now" button?

Consumers might not understand that "affiliate link" means that the person placing the link is getting paid for purchases through the link. Similarly, a "buy now" button would not be adequate. Remember that your customer must know that you are being compensated a fee for your efforts in either promoting, marketing and or referring them to LionFinch Products.

What if I'm including links to product marketers or to retailers as a convenience to my readers, but I'm not getting paid for them?

Then there isn't anything to disclose.

Does this guidance about affiliate links apply to links in my product reviews on someone else's website, to my user comments, and to my tweets?

Yes, the same guidance applies anytime you endorse a product and get paid through affilate links. A simple rule is if you are getting paid in any way, then you must disclose. 

It's clear that what's on my website is a paid advertisement, not my own edorsement or review of the product. Do I still have to disclose that I get a commission if people click through my website to buy the product?

If it's clear that what's on your site is a paid advertisement, you don't have to make additional disclosures. Just remember that what's clear to you may not be clear to everyone visiting your site, and the FTC evaluates ads from the perspective of reasonable consumers. It's better to never assume anything and apply our simple rule as listed above: If you are getting paid in any way, then you must disclose.