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New FTC Guidelines Will Make 2010 A Challenging Year For Web Marketers

Next year may just prove to be one of the most challenging times for pursuing online or Internet marketing on the web. It may just be a watershed moment for many marketers struggling to keep abreast of all the different factors which have come into play in recent months.

Most of these changes will stem from New FTC (Federal Trade Commission) Guidelines regarding Testimonials and Endorsements. Basically, these new rules call for absolute disclosure and full transparency regarding Testimonials and Endorsements when a product or service is being offered for sale. Any business relationship between the endorser and the company must be made known to the potential buyer. Obviously for those in online or affiliate marketing this could have a great impact if these new rules are strictly enforced.

Just imagine all the website owners and bloggers who slap a few banners or affiliate links on their sites to cover hosting or operating costs... will they now have to disclose all these business arrangements? For professional affiliate marketers and the companies/products they're promoting, these new guidelines could cause potential headaches and/or legal ramifications since a general blanket disclaimer on their sites will no longer be suffice. To help solve this problem, many of the major companies are now placing an "affiliate" tag on all their banners and making it obvious a business relationship exists with its affiliates.

In addition, many online marketers are placing additional disclaimers, affiliate seals and in other ways making it known certain links are indeed affiliate links and a relationship does exist with the product and/or services being promoted. With these new guidelines, another big issue is email marketing, one of the major marketing techniques of most online marketers. Will a full disclosure be necessary for every email sales pitch?

Savvy web marketers know the key to increased sales is in the "follow-up" and the "cookie-ing" of potential buyers; how will the new Guidelines affect this very effective marketing practice? How all these new rules or guidelines play out will make next year a very interesting one for marketing on the web.

Titus Hoskins

  

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