I watch many of my friends in the industry play very fast and loose with regulations, and I fear they’ll one day be in trouble. Ignorance is no excuse and since these are regulatory issues, the fine is sometimes less expensive than mounting a legal defense to it. Two of the main violations I see are:
- Not announcing that you have a financial relationship with the company – whether you’re the owner, an investor, or an influencer paid to promote the company is a violation per the Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements or Testimonials in Advertising.
- Spamming people with an affiliate offering that you don’t have any previous business relationship with and not providing any means of unsubscribing. Bloggers and small business people seem to do this quite a bit, thinking that anyone they meet that they can solicit. However, they could be paying a steep fine if they don’t stop violating regulations. Read What is the CAN-SPAM Act?
And even if the sender is compliant per CAN-SPAM, they still most disclose the financial relationship with the recipient. If you know someone that’s violating either regulation, send them a link to this article and warn them to stop.
You could be reported to the FTC and face fines of up to $16,000 for each separate email sent!
Here’s the full infographic from PrivacyPolicies.com: