If you’ve been reading here a while, you’ll know one of our biggest passions is disclosure. The definition of disclosure that we’ve used previously is that disclosure is the act of making something obvious and in terms of blogging and social media influencing, that means making it obvious when you receive something for free.
In the UK, we have the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) and the CAP (Committees of Advertising Practice). CAP comes up with the rules of what must and must not be done in any form of advertising, and the ASA regulates it. These are the organisations that come up with guidelines with how influencers should deal with disclosing when they are influenced by gifted items.
In America, the government agency that deals with this is the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). Blogging has become a much bigger industry than it is in the UK, so the FTC have had an headstart on creating guidelines. They’ve got a huge list of questions bloggers and influencers have asked, and one of those questions is this:
I’m a video blogger who lives in London. I create sponsored beauty videos on YouTube. The products that I promote are also sold in the U.S. Am I under any obligation to tell my viewers that I have been paid to endorse products, considering that I’m not living in the U.S.?
To the extent it is reasonably foreseeable that your YouTube videos will be seen by and affect U.S. consumers, U.S. law would apply and a disclosure would be required. Also, the U.K. and many other countries have similar laws and policies, so you’ll want to check those, too.
Check out the .com Disclosures document but we’ll be taking a deeper look into the FTC guidelines in the next few weeks. If there is anything specific that you want to know, then let us know!
What do you think – should bloggers in the UK just stick to what they’re doing now, or take into consideration the requirements where their main audience may be from?