Blog Advertising has been a hot topic for some years. Online advertising offers three primary types of ads bloggers can use to make money from their blogs: Pay-per-click, Pay-per-impression and Pay-per-action.
In addition to those classic web advertising some bloggers can get some compensation on writing for example review of product (free products to review or sometimes money). Reviews (often called sponsored reviews) are an indirect form of advertising on blogs. A company might contact a blogger directly asking them to write a review for a product, business, website, etc. If the blogger is paid to write the review, then it is a form of advertising revenue.
Soon, Bloggers Must Give Full Disclosure article from few years back tells that rules regarding the relationships between advertisers and product reviewers and endorsers were deemed adequate. Then came the age of blogging and social media. FTC demands in USA that bloggers who review products must disclose any connection with advertisers, including, in most cases, the receipt of free products and whether or not they were paid in any way by advertisers, as occurs frequently. The general rule is that “material connections” (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect – must be disclosed. Keep this in mind. Also for some professionals (for example lawyers) there can be limitations how personal blog can be used to advertise their services.
This disclosure must be “clear and conspicuous.” Disclosures made solely at the bottom of posts, in small print, in a general “legal guidelines” document, or far away from the claim would not meet this standard. The disclosures must be at least the same size as the advertising claim, in a color that contrasts with the background. The FTC suggests placing the word “Ad:” at the beginning of sponsored tweets. FTC can place a fine to blogger that does not disclose when they are being paid to review products.
In Finland there has been some talk on the rules on blog advertising rules. Direct Marketing Association has prepared a draft guidance blogs of advertising recognisability. In the background is already lasted longer than the debate around the subject, as well as the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act. Luonnos blogimainonnan ohjeistukseksi nyt kommentoitavana page has a draft that is now open for comments. The information page and the draft itself is written in Finnish.