2020 has been a year of profound change for marketers entrusted with the task of driving maximum sales from digital channels. More than ever, marketers need to maximize performance for every digital channel, especially partnership.
Compliance managers at credit card issuers, networks, and publishers have the unenviable task of keeping their programs compliant in a constantly changing space. Every time a credit card issuer changes a rate, for example, there is a risk that webpages across the ecosystem of content housed on the web, will be out-of-date. The risk for non-compliance is high and the consequences range from frustrated or misinformed customers to fines and legal action taken by regulatory agencies. Every word published—by the issuer, by a partner, by an affiliate, or even by a consumer—creates an opportunity for risk.
Based on BrandVerity’s work with some of the largest U.S. and European brands, we had a suspicion that affiliate bloggers often were not using proper disclosures of endorsements. In the past, this may not have been a big deal i.e. no penalties for brands or bloggers. But in the last two years, the FTC has stepped up its efforts to ensure compliance with the guidelines that have been on the books since 2009.
When marketing consumer financial services, marketers have to be hyper-aware of the many rules and regulations that go along with the industry. Marketing a financial service—be it retail banking, loans, mortgages, or credit cards—is often a complicated matter. There is a strong need to curb risk, but also successfully promote your products.
If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ll know that here at BrandVerity, we’ve been thinking a lot lately about regulations and disclosures--particularly with regard to the FTC and its take on affiliate marketing. Today we’re happy to have a post by our own Mason Smith about a new, somewhat concerning development, in this field: Bitly’s announcement that they are testing a new partnership with VigLink. This news was a hot topic of conversation at AM Days a few weeks ago and we thought it would be of particular interest to our readers. Mason, take it away!
The recent announcement that Bitly is testing a partnership with VigLink presents interesting questions for companies with affiliate programs. For those who haven't heard, Bitly is testing out a partnership with Viglink that transforms their shortened links into Viglink affiliate links. In other words, if someone shortens a link to an ecommerce site using Bitly, that shortened link is now an affiliate link. Any clicks on that Bitly link will be routed and monetized through Viglink’s platform.
Since we’re still fresh off of a wonderful few days in San Francisco at AM Days, I wanted to take the opportunity to share the slides and recap the presentation I delivered at the event. I thought this could be a useful reference—whether you were able to attend the talk or not. For those of you that couldn’t be there, I’ve provided a synopsis of my points below (along with my slides). You can also feel free to connect with me over LinkedIn or send BrandVerity a note!
A few months ago, as part of our Lead Gen Series, we published a post about pay-per-call sites and the questions they can raise about where exactly those calls are going. In that post, we didn’t delve into the possible FTC and FCC violations that these kinds of ads can give rise to, so we’re going to do that today as part of our FTC Compliance Series!
We’re thrilled to be featuring the first guest post in our FTC Compliance series, written by attorney Richard B. Newman. Richard has been a great source for us at BrandVerity as we’ve developed our knowledge regarding regulatory issues, as well as a noted leader in the field, working on the Performance Marketing Association’s Blogging and New Media Disclosures Guide and contributing frequently to publications including mThink, OfferVault and LeadsCon.
FTC Compliance is not a new topic for the BrandVerity blog--in fact, our first post after announcing our launch touched on FTC issues! And we’ve added a fair bit more content since 2009. In 2013, Sam Engel explored .Com Disclosures with the help of law professor Eric Goldman and looked at how well affiliates on Twitter were complying with those standards. We also recently took a look at e-cigarette companies and the potential for the FTC to enact further regulation in that space.