Sunday, March 23, 2008

Disclosure policy: Do you disclose or not?

5 comments

The act of making something obvious


Just ignore the title, I am sure if you have not started disclosing your policy, you certainly will in the near future. Unless of course, you decide not to recommend anything to buy to your readers, in your blog post, in the sidebar, in the comment, anywhere in your blog, ever. Some of you may ask, what is disclosure? Let's see:
What is disclosure?

The act of making something obvious. Disclosing (divulging or explaining), the purpose and interests of a blogger in his/her published posts: written, audio or video.

Source: http://www.disclosurepolicy.org/


Apparently, if you market anything at all in your blog, which can be considered "word-of-mouth marketing" to US citizens, you are required by law to make disclosures of your relationship with your affiliate partners and forms of compensation that you receive from them. Otherwise, you may be subject to legal action for deceptive advertising. Remember, no matter how honestly or impartially you review a product, you might still be subjected to legal action unless you have a disclosure policy to protect yourself. Other advertisements you placed on your blog may contain promises such as "99.9% web hosting uptime", which you may not be able to verify and certainly, you do not want any part in the potential deceptive advertising charges!

Get protected now, generate your own disclosure policy
You don't have to seek the service of a lawyer to draw up your own disclosure policy. DisclosurePolicy.org was created and funded by PayPerPost to help you generate your own simple disclosure policy. You can select to create a disclosure policy that is meant for an individual blogger, a group of bloggers, or even a blog sponsored by a company or organization. It is hassle-free and will take only a few minutes of your time. I disclose here, that I do not have any affiliation with DisclosurePolicy.org and I do not receive any forms of compensation to recommend its service just for the sake of making something obvious.

Here is my disclosure policy if anyone is interested to read it. Undoubtedly, I am going to adopt the more professional disclosure policy generated by DisclosurePolicy.org, but I am really tempted to use this cheeky one below which I modified from the one generated for me:

This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

The compensation received certainly influenced the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. Money is the source of all evil, how true!

The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives meagre compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always adhere strictly to advertisers' guidelines to lead readers into believing our opinions, finding, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products fabricated based on advertisers' wishes. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are not always purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.

Hehe, anyone daring enough to use the disclosure policy I modified above? Certainly will score points with advertisers, but I pity the readers :D

So have you disclosed or not? What effects does a disclosure policy bring? Will your readers trust you less or appreciate you for being honest with them? Do you know any advertisers that explicitly demand you to make a disclosure policy? Please share with us your views, we will like to know! Thank you.
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5 comments:

Eunice said...

LOL!

okay your serious post just made me laugh. HAHA. yeahh i have never ventured into these unchartered waters basically, because i had never got into any legal implications when bloggin. i guess i'll have to now seeing safety & security is such a big issue in the web. i was thinking of starting an e-biz, which TOTALLY involves even more security issues if you decide for epayment.

anyhow......seriously, are you using that? ;)

do you have to have the disclosure policy where everyone can read it? its just kinda making you un-liable to anything right.

BobbyT said...

hi eunice, glad to make you laugh :D
mind to explain “Because ‘tian’ in Mandarin didn’t sound right”?

anyway, back to the topic, yes, I am planning to use disclosure policy on this blog and on any future ones which I planned to market something...

err i guess it is necessary, but it does not make you un-liable to anything, just deceptive advertising sin! you still cannot post copyrighted materials on your blog, anti-government elements, etc. hope that my post shed some lights about security online hehe...

Crystal said...

I disclose because otherwise PPP is a bi*ch and keeps rejecting my posts!

Tbh, I don't see the whole point of it. I understand the honesty-to-reader part, but if your readers can't tell if a post is sponsored than 1) you're a master at your craft 2) they're not dedicated enough!

eunice said...

mmm, thanks! i really enjoy your blog cause it's well - about blogging. haha ;D good choice of topic! *bookmarks*

ohkay - see Dolce means sweet in Italian & 'tian' means the same thing in Mandarin - so I chose Dolce over tian ;)

BobbyT said...

crystal,

Still I don't mind dedicating a single post to disclosure. Our readers might not be dedicated enough to reveal paid posts but we as blog owners should be dedicated enough to post a disclaimer so as not to deceive the readers. We have the responsibility to do that much.

hey eunice,

I realized you are not around as much as you were. Did my serious post become more serious and less humorous? I would write more funny posts just to retain a loyal reader *hint hint*, regard by the way (not sure if you would even be reading this).

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