ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Disclosure Policy

Updated on January 20, 2010

Who Needs a Disclosure Policy?

At the beginning of December, 2009, FTC Guidelines were expanded to include blogs and other forms of social media. Such media was probably already under the umbrella of the guidelines, but the recent changes make that coverage more explicit. It's really just a case of organizations who monitor these sorts of things trying to keep up with the technology and the communities that are bred and enabled by that technology.

So, under these guidelines, who needs a disclosure policy? The simple answer is anyone doing business in the US who does promotion and endorsements on blogs, websites, feeds, or other forms of social media. If you blog, tweet, or otherwise post such endorsements, you need to disclose that on your site. If you engage bloggers and other web masters to endorse your products or services, you need to monitor those endorsements and ensure that the whole process is transparent.

The guidelines are meant to cover those who personally endorse or recommend products and services. It would not, then, cover something like a small box or banner on your site for a particular product or service (a renting out of ad space, like a billboard or an old fashioned magazine ad). It would, though, cover anything you say in your posts or website's content that is your own endorsement or recommendation of any product or service.

don't let the new guidelines make you feel foolish...  there's really not a lot to it
don't let the new guidelines make you feel foolish... there's really not a lot to it

What is in a Disclosure Policy?

In your disclosure policy, you need to state that you do, in fact, endorse or advertise on your site. You need to state the extent to which those endorsements will affect the material that you post on the site. Are the topics of your posts sometimes determined by what is being advertised? Then you need to say so. Are you paid to express specific opinions, or only positive opinions? Then tell us that. Any way that your ads might influence your content needs to be made transparent. You can have a look at my disclosure policy as a sample. I started with a template from Disclosure Policy Generator, and modified it a bit to suit my site better. Because I have several blogs and websites that link back to this same disclosure policy, I have given myself the broadest parameters in it that I will ever use, though some of my sites are much narrower than this in what ads they will or won't host. Either way, I have them covered with this policy.

Many of us who are long-time bloggers have had disclosure policies on our sites for a while. The new guidelines don't really change much for us, and really should not be a big change for most bloggers or social networkers. It's really a simple matter to put up a little disclosure policy that meets the guidelines. At the end of the day, it's all only about making our advertising practices more transparent. For those who have been managing their sites well, it really shouldn't be that necessary in the first place, but ultimately, compliance with the guidelines doesn't cost us anything more than a (very) little bit of time to get it set up.

©2009 Shelly Bryant


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)