Okay, so you’re aware that the FTC issued new guidelines last month regarding the responsibilities bloggers and other social media users have to disclose sponsored content or free product samples in exchange for reviews.

Moreover, maybe you’re like me, and when you read the new guidelines, you thought, "Okay. That sounds pretty close to the types of disclaimers and disclosures the FTC has always required for advertising and endorsements."

But then it hit you right between the eyes. How in the world do I do that in 140 characters? Well, Angie Pascale over at Location3 posted today at her blog the "quick and dirty" on what all brands must know for their social media outreach programs. The significant takeaways?

  1. Proximal Placement is Priceless: put the disclosure next to the claim or item being advertised.
  2. Disclosure Bookends:  product reviewer disclosures need to come at the beginning and the end of reviews or sponsored content where product or discounts were provided in exchange.
  3. Tweets are NOT Exempt: make sure the tweet plainly discloses that it is an advertisement and any necessary disclosures (like the "typical" results for a weight-loss product).
  4. No More Cryptic Shortened URLs: make the hyperlink obvious.

Angie notes correctly that the guidelines are not law.  However, anyone choosing not to follow them is risking FTC action against the brand and/or the blogger. Angie has several other good ideas posted on the blog regarding the new guidelines. I highly encourage a read.

Finally, thanks are due to Jennifer MacDonald at Engage121, whose tweet today alerted me to Angie’s great post.