The FTC requires that bloggers (as marketers) make a prominent statement that disclaims their relationship to companies that pay them to sell or promote their products.
Blah blah blah.
You can gift-wrap your affiliate disclaimer in several ways:
- Business As Usual: Wrap your disclaimer in legalese and business buzzwords. You’ll sound super responsible, and no one will read the whole thing anyway.
- Do-Gooder: Boldly confess your compensation as an online marketer, and tell your Reader it’s all for their benefit. They get free content and great recommendations, you get a little cash – everyone wins.
- Make ‘Em Laugh: If you have to admit you’re a filthy no-good marketer without a conscious, why not have some fun with it?
I like option number four. Properly done, a funny affiliate disclaimer can boost your credibility. If you weren’t 100% confident in your affiliate products, you wouldn’t be shining a spotlight on them with a joke, now would you?
Now, there’s an avalanche of caveats to be considered. Humor should never obscure the disclosure. Some advertisers, like Amazon Associates, require specific language. And humorous affiliate disclaimers don’t belong on many websites, such as most professional services sites. And the FTC has all sorts of restrictions on where you can place your affiliate disclaimer, so go educate yourself first!
Without further ado, check out these examples of funny FTC affiliate disclaimers. If you get inspired, write your own, and I’ll add it to this list!
Affiliate Disclaimers to Make You Laugh!
John Chow is, maybe, the ultimate blogger? The man made more than $40,000 a month from his blog in less than two years!
The easiest way to comply with the new FTC rules is to have a disclosure policy page that clearly outlines your relationship with readers and advertisers. The FTP only has power in the US. However, I have a feeling that these rules will eventually spread to the Canadian version of the FTC (whatever that is). To prepare myself, I’ve created the following disclosure policy and added it under my About page. If you’re reading my blog, you should assume the following:
- I make money from every post I put on this blog. If I’m not making money from every blog post, then it was an oversight on my part and it will be corrected soon.
- Every link on this blog is a paid link. If it is not a paid link, then it was an oversight on my part and it will become a paid link soon.
- Every product I write about on this blog, I get for free. If I didn’t get it for free, then there was a miss-communication with the company that sent it and I will be billing them for the cost so the product becomes free.
- I make money from every tweet I send out on Twitter. If I didn’t make money on the tweet, then it was an oversight on my part and it will be corrected soon.
- If you email me, all of the information in your email is mine to do with as I please, such as exploit for financial profit, use as blackmail, or quote on my blog.
- The T-shirts you see me wear at trade shows. I get paid to wear them. If I didn’t get paid to wear them, then it means I ran out of paid shirts and had to wear a free one. In which case, I will go to the company that gave me the free shirt and ask them to sponsor it.
- If something on the Net is making a lot of money, you can bet I will be in on it. If I’m not in on it, then it was an oversight on my part and it will be corrected soon.
- Just because I get paid to blog, tweet, wear T-shirts, etc. does NOT mean I will give you or your company a positive review, blog post or endorsement. As a matter of fact, chances are pretty high that I might slam you.
Bitches Get Riches
If you’re not a reader of Bitches Get Riches, rethink your life choices. I’m not a female, a diehard feminist, or rich, and I read this blog every month!
Their writing is sassy, irreverent, and R-rated. Believe it or not, the disclosure copy below is quite tame by their standards!
We are super picky about our affiliate marketing partners, sponsors, and advertisements. We want to make sure that if we’re recommending a product or service to you, it’s because we are thoroughly in love with it.
So while there aren’t many affiliate links on the site, there are some. When you click on an affiliate link to a product (here or on our social media accounts) and sign up for it, that means we get paid. We get money via commission, in other words. Sorry ’bout it. Site hosting costs money.
Because we’re super picky about who we advertise for, we don’t have a lot of means of covering our expenses. If you’d like to support Bitches Get Riches so we can afford to keep making you squirt milk out of your nose with our fresh pop culture references and dumb puns, you can donate to us by joining our Patreon.
I found this gem thanks to Breezy.io. It’s a rambling, stream-of-consciousness disclosure that puts his compensation up front and center. No apologies. Podcaster John Fields knows how to reel in an audience, even when he’s kowtowing to the Legalese Gods.
(Sadly, when I visited the original link, I found a 404 page, and the current affiliate policy is as dry as the heart of a haystack. Hopefully, Fields reused this bit somewhere else!)
FTC Disclosure (because being transparent should be fun, dammit!) – You should always assume that pretty much every link on this blog is an affiliate link and that if you click it, find something you like and get it, I’m gonna make some serious money. Now, understand this, I’m not talking chump change, I’m talking a huge windfall in commissions, bling up the wazoo and all sorts of other free stuff. I may even be given a mansion and a yacht, though honestly I’d settle most of the time for some organic dark chocolate and clean socks. Oh, look, a squirrel…. K, I’m back. And if I mention a book or some other product, just assume I got a review copy of it gratis and that me getting it has completely biased everything I say. Because schwag is like a drug to me, put it in my hand and you own me, you’ve been warned (disclosure to the disclosure, that was a joke, or was it?). Huggies and butterflies. Oooooh, shiny…
Ask The RV Engineer
Ross (if that is his real name!) at AskTheRVEngineer.com doesn’t poke about. His affiliate disclaimer is a full Catholic confession with all the right words to placate the FTC.
What’s clever is the Call to Action at the end. You didn’t just read an affiliate disclosure statement; you got invited to two web pages with dozens more affiliate links!
A Broken Backpack
It’s quite a clever bit of writing. She confesses the affiliate relationship, dodges ultimate liability, offers an incentive, and pledges her honor – all in two short paragraphs!
I am not responsible for my advertisers, sponsors, affiliates… If something happens with them, I will be sorry to hear about it, but there is nothing I can actually do about it.
If you click on my affiliates/advertisers links, I am going to receive a tiny commission. AND… Most of the time, you will receive an offer. Win/Win! The products that I advertise are the ones I believe in.
Moosejaw is on the opposite side of the affiliate world. They don’t hawk other people’s programs, but you can hawk theirs! They’re an outdoor gear online retailer competing with REI, Backcountry, etc.
I’ve been a Moosejaw customer for a long time. Everything they send me makes me laugh.
This isn’t an FTC disclosure policy, but it’s a great example of how you can transform something boring, like an email order receipt, into marketing genius. This is literally a copy of an email sitting in my inbox right now!
Way to go. This is the best order confirmation we’ve sent out all day. We recommend either printing this receipt and framing it to hang in your foyer, or at least taking a screenshot and using it as the background on your iPad.
It would also be nice for you to forward it around to a couple friends and maybe even an enemy or two. If you’re bored, check us out on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Our CFO said he doesn’t understand why anyone would use Twitter. He also thinks that a narwhal is a made-up animal. Please don’t tell anyone about it.
PLEASE NOTE: Single item orders no longer include a packing slip to decrease waste and improve efficiency. The money saved pays for our Pickled Herring of the Month subscription, so thank you. Please keep this email somewhere special as your receipt.
If you care more about your order than our nonsense, you can track your package right to your doorstep. As soon as we have your tracking information, we’ll email it to you. You can also check your order status online. Don’t be scared if you don’t see your order right away. We just have to process it first. Check out your Order Status and Order History.
No chance you’re still reading this but if you are, we’re posting pictures of folks using the products on product pages at Moosejaw.com. If you fall into the ‘folks’ category, please email a photo of your gear in action to email@example.com and we’ll add your picture to Moosejaw.com.
Love the Madness,