About 2 days ago the FTC suddenly threw the interwebz for a loop and updated their disclosure policies for Dot Com Disclosures. While this was primarily aimed at ads and making sure everything is disclosed to you before you purchase a product (oh, yes, we should tell you that to get this amazing deal you are also signing up for a $10/month service plan…), they also took straight aim at bloggers and decided that what many of us were doing (the little disclosure buttons I’ve put at the bottom of each post) aren’t enough.
Instead, I now must put a disclosure at the top of a post, next to the “claim” (which also needs to include what “typical” results are. I guess if an eye shadow lasts 6 hours on me, but the company says 12 hours, I need to disclose that typical wear is 12 hours?), and then again at the bottom. This is a lot of disclosures, and it is definitely going to clutter everything up.
I’ve made these little buttons to match my current design (pretty much exactly what I had before, but a different font), though I probably need to change their color to make them stick out a bit more and make them more obviously buttons.
I haven’t decided for sure if I’ll be putting them in the text or writing something there, let me know what you think. I really think that a button like that is going to be obnoxious in the middle of a paragraph about an eye cream. We’ll see.
In the meantime, I really want to know why it is that the FTC cares that my little blog that no one reads discloses a free $7 mascara, but they somehow don’t seem to be making “traditional media” like Magazines and Newspapers do the same. When was the last time you saw a disclosure saying that they only included that mascara in their editor’s picks column because they paid a required fee? Or that their editors were sent on a special spa trip gratis? These magazines don’t even disclose properly in their on-line versions, which are most definitely covered by the guidelines.
If you want more details about how to comply, check out my friend Carleen’s blog (she’s a beauty blogging lawyer, instead of the beauty blogging doctor whose site you’re on now!). Carleen wrote a great post about how to comply with the FTC Guidelines on Disclosure.