Are you a UK based sex toy blogger who uses affiliate schemes to earn a little extra cash? If you are and you are sharing links via your social media accounts here are some tips on best practice to ensure that you are staying on the right side of the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) and the law.
I’m seeing more and more sex toy bloggers using their Twitter timeline to send out affiliate links promoting the companies however more often than not these tweets are not marked as the advertising that they are.
Affiliate link broadcasting via a tweet is a great way to generate traffic to your link and, hopefully, earn some money but just like sponsored posts and sex toy review posts these tweets count as marketing communications and they need to be marked as such. This is not only ethical best practice not to mislead the reader but also required by law.
The ASA website states;
Because some consumers have less experience with advertising hosted on social media sites, and advertising is often difficult to distinguish from genuine user generated content, marketers should pay particular attention to ensuring their marketing communications are obviously recognisable as such.
Here’s how to make sure that your sex toy affiliate social media activity is not only ethical but legal as well.
The IAB UK recommend using the hashtag #ad in your tweet – this makes it clear that the message is paid for but leaves plenty of room for your tweet and link too. You could also use #spon or #affiliate.
Don’t do it. Affiliate link posting, whether disclosed or not, falls under section 3.1 of the terms and conditions you commit to when signing up to Facebook.
1. You will not post unauthorized commercial communications (such as spam) on Facebook.
Sadly you can’t even use Facebook’s own advertising platform instead because sex toys are on the banned list.
It really is that simple – to make sure that you are complying with the law on marketing and advertising communications in your sex toy affiliate tweets all you need to do is include the hashtag #ad.
Over to you, I’d love to hear your thoughts on affiliate links, advertising and Twitter.
ASA remit on social media: http://www.cap.org.uk/Advice-Training-on-the-rules/Advice-Online-Database/Remit-Social-Media.aspx
The Internet Advertising Bureau UK guidelines: http://www.iabuk.net/sites/default/files/IAB%20ISBA%20Guidelines%20on%20the%20Payment%20for%20Editorial%20Content%20-%20July%202012.pdf