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How Big Brands Handle FTC Demands

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This presentation is from Affiliate Summit West 2017 (January 15-17, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada). Session description: In the eyes of the FTC, brands are directly responsible for affiliate activities. What regulatory risks do your affiliates pose and what are smart marketing organizations doing to maintain compliance?

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How Big Brands Handle FTC Demands

  1. 1. COPYRIGHT BRANDVERITY, 2016 How Big Brands Handle FTC Demands Julia Pavone
  2. 2. COPYRIGHT BRANDVERITY, 2016 Outline • FTC Definitions & Guidelines • Types of Compliance Risks – Examples – BrandVerity Study • Costs of Non-Compliance • Real World Examples • Proactively Taking Control
  3. 3. COPYRIGHT BRANDVERITY, 2016 Learn to think like the FTC • Affiliates/Partners are seen as part of a brand’s marketing channel • If an affiliate/partner makes claims or discusses an attribute and receives compensation, need to follow guidelines
  4. 4. COPYRIGHT BRANDVERITY, 2016 FTC Guidelines An advertisement or promotional message shouldn’t suggest or imply to consumers that it is anything other than an ad https://girlwithcurves.com/post/132058612904/feather-blazer-high-waist-jeans
  5. 5. COPYRIGHT BRANDVERITY, 2016 Disclosures Disclosures must be clearly and conspicuously stated for any sponsored content "Native Advertising: A Guide For Businesses | Federal Trade Commission". Ftc.gov. N.p., 2016. Web. 20 Dec. 2016. "The FTC’S Endorsement Guides: What People Are Asking | Federal Trade Commission". Ftc.gov. N.p., 2016. Web. 19 Dec. 2016. ".Com Disclosures: How To Make Effective Disclosures In Digital Advertising". Ftc.gov. N.p., 2016. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.
  6. 6. COPYRIGHT BRANDVERITY, 2016 Lord & Taylor Exhibit A Page 5 of 5
  7. 7. COPYRIGHT BRANDVERITY, 2016 Cole Haan – #wanderingsole
  8. 8. COPYRIGHT BRANDVERITY, 2016 BrandVerity Study • Failure is the Norm – 80% did not include a disclosure • Better Together – 79% of posts created through advertiser and affiliate collaboration included some form of disclosure • All Disclosures Not Created Equal – Only 21% of disclosures were adequate Download Today: bit.ly/FTCstudy
  9. 9. COPYRIGHT BRANDVERITY, 2016 Costs of Non-Compliance • Public Reprimands – For Brands: Loss of customers – For Publishers: Loss of business • FTC Reprimands – Court Ordered Monitoring – Fines
  11. 11. COPYRIGHT BRANDVERITY, 2016 Example: Large Agency – Online Retail • Actions Taken: Extreme Proactivity – Require all affiliate pages to have a proper disclosure on their pages stating there are paid links – Not allowing any affiliates into program without disclosure present • Benefit – Starting their program out with a requirement, rather than having to go back later and educate/enforce
  12. 12. COPYRIGHT BRANDVERITY, 2016 Example: Credit Card Issuer • Actions Taken: Unique Disclosure – Each time an affiliate has their card, they have a unique brand specific advertiser disclosure • Benefit – Easy to show that they are being proactive – Helpful in monitoring since you can look for specific text
  13. 13. COPYRIGHT BRANDVERITY, 2016 Example: Large Bank • Actions Taken: Control Traffic Flow – All referral links leaving publisher site only come from 1 page – All links for a specific card in any article on a page must only link back to one page on the site that will link back to the bank • Benefit – Able to ensure that every customer sees the disclosure, TOS, etc. if all traffic goes through one page
  15. 15. COPYRIGHT BRANDVERITY, 2016 Tips For A Compliant Program Teach Create a Process Enforce
  16. 16. COPYRIGHT BRANDVERITY, 2016 Tips For A Compliant Program 1. Teach – Yourself – Colleagues – Partners Teach Create a Process Enforce
  17. 17. COPYRIGHT BRANDVERITY, 2016 Tips For A Compliant Program 2. Create a process – Review each affiliate site – Capture screenshots – Record remediation actions – Compile report Create a process EnforceTeach
  18. 18. COPYRIGHT BRANDVERITY, 2016 Tips For A Compliant Program 3. Enforce – When an issue is found, contact the affiliate and take action – Keep a record of the issues to show you have a process for taking action Enforce Teach Create a process
  19. 19. COPYRIGHT BRANDVERITY, 2016 Summary • Affiliates/Partners are seen as part of your marketing program • Any endorsements by affiliates/partners need to have a disclosure if being compensated • Learn the FTC guidelines for your industry • Teach others what those guidelines are • Develop a compliance process • Enforce the your rules
  20. 20. COPYRIGHT BRANDVERITY, 2016 Q & A www.BrandVerity.com