Making product recommendations is a part of the routine for many bloggers. Done right it brings in viewers, builds trust and helps you make a living from your website. However, you have to be careful to handle your disclosures correctly, and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) is working on further changes to their guide on social media marketing you should be aware of.
This update to the rules is still a draft, and they’re looking for comments on it, but it’s a good plan to be aware of what they’re looking at. It’s easier to comply sooner rather than later, and a lot of it makes sense when you think about it.
I don’t think it’s anything too hard. Clear disclosures are a must these days, not tiny hidden ones. The new proposal wants disclosures to be more prominent. They suggest that they be close to the mention of the product, not buried at the end or otherwise had to notice.
They also want disclosures on reviews and such that you post on YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest, podcasts, etc. Once again, this makes sense to me. If there’s a relationship to be disclosed, it shouldn’t matter where you’re marketing it or how. Just disclose it.
If you’re interested in commenting on the matter, you can do so on the WOMMA site. There’s a PDF you can download and read to get the exact details. It’s open until June 28, 2012.
This doesn’t have to be a complex thing, and it’s good form to let people know when you’re associated with the product or service you’re promoting. Keep it simple and clear, and it’s not going to put customers off. A good disclosure can even improve your image by showing how honest you are.