Affiliate Marketing Legal Considerations

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Make sure you fully understand the FTC disclosure requirements that impact your affiliate marketing strategy.

In essence, the requirements indicate that you must disclose frequently and clearly that you may earn a commission if your blog visitors purchase the product or service via your affiliate links. The disclosure must be clear, frequent and conspicuous.

Here’s an example of the disclosure we’ve used:

Disclosure: This page includes links to sites we affiliate with. Purchasing through them will earn us a commission. Keep in mind that we only recommend the products and services that we believe in.                                                 

Bluehost, for instance, recommends the following:

  1. Frequent: Your disclosure must appear on any page that has a review, recommendation, comment or article that promotes a product or service for which you receive compensation.
  2. Clear: It must be immediately clear that you may receive compensation for your review or rating.
    • Example of a clear disclosure:
      • Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.
    • Example of an unclear disclosure:
      • Disclosure: We are a website that needs compensation to operate like any other website on the internet. We may receive consideration for our reviews but we are totally unbiased and do not accept paid reviews or fake reviews claiming to be something they are not.
    • You cannot claim that you do not receive compensation if you receive payment through an affiliate program!
  3. Conspicuous: The disclosure must be clear and easy to see. It should begin with the word “disclosure”
    • For the disclosure to be considered clear, the font should be:
      • At least as large as the main text on the page
      • In a color other than black or gray
      • In contrast with both with its background and the main text
      • Darker than its background or the main text
    • Example of a conspicuous disclosure:
      • Welcome to Our Review Site!
        Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We tested and reviewed the web hosting sites ranked here. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.
  4. Require No Action: Your disclosure must be immediately evident to a typical visitor to your site who views a review, ranking or endorsement. A visitor should not need to scroll, click or hover to learn that you receive compensation.
    • If you do include a clickable link or additional information when a visitor hovers over text, the language of the link itself should reveal the fact that you receive compensation.
    • Example of a link that requires no action:
      • Disclosure: We are compensated for our reviews. Click here for details.
    • Keep this in mind: Simply telling the visitor that they can “Click/hover here to read our FTC disclosure” is not adequate. You need to use the word “disclosure” and present the nature of the disclosure.

More information about the FTC Disclosure requirements is available at:

Affiliate marketing legal considerations
Affiliate marketing legal considerations

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