A quick and easy way to satisfy new FTC disclosure requirements on your blog - CMP.ly

Real Estate Agent with Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME

The two faces of Kris Smith.

photo courtesy of hyku

FTC handing down $11,000 fines?  Yikes!

When first announced, the changes to the FTC Act of 1980 caused quite a stir throughout the blogging community.  The idea was that if you were endorsing a product, you had better disclose your relationship with that company.  Were you given a free sample?  Did they let you keep that $5,000 product in exchange for a glowing review?  After many for-profit bloggers were seen as becoming the mouthpiece for advertisers and more or less company spokesman, the FTC decided to step in and stem the tide of possible false claims in exchange for free stuff.

Although some of the heat from the initial announcement has died down thanks to some explanations by the FTC, it is still a good idea to disclose any relationships between blogger and products or services.

Enter CMP.ly.

I bumped into Kris Smith of CMP.ly (as in "comply") quite randomly at Blog World Expo 2009.  He started a conversation with Jeff Turner, Todd Carpenter, and I and he gave us a quick rundown of CMP.ly and I thought it sounded like a great, simple idea.  Back in the hotel room, I loaded up the site and checked it out.

Choices of disclosures offered at CMP.ly

screen capture from CMP.ly

Use of the site is about as simple as it gets.  Go to CMP.ly and select one of the five (currently) available disclosures.  Once selected, the site will give you a quick and easy cut and paste wording to provide a link to your disclosures (which according to Kris Smith were checked out with the FTC and comply to their definitions of disclosure).  Paste onto your post and away you go.  Full FTC disclosure compliance in seconds.


(see how it works?)


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Daniel J. Hunter 10/26/2009 05:34 AM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
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Pat O'Reilly
RE/MAX..214-289-6176 Irving and all of Dallas Fort Worth - Irving, TX

Matt..thanks for the information. This thanks is a CMP.LY Disclosure 0..no connection...unpaid and my own Opinion thanks and a CMP.LY Disclosure 1,solely based upon a review copy. I will gladly change this thanks to a CMP.LY Disclosure3 paid thanks if you want to send me a check!!

Oct 26, 2009 12:26 AM #1
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Pat - Thanks for the laughs.  Hope you find it useful.

Oct 26, 2009 01:52 AM #2
Tom Boos
Sine & Monaghan Realtors, Real Living - Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
Providing the very best of service to Sellers and

Hey Matt.  Help me to understand this better.  Do we now have to have a link to a disclosure on our AR blogs?

Oct 26, 2009 04:45 AM #3
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Tom - When you write about products and services you should disclose your relationship.  The idea was to combat people receiving free goods from companies so that they would write rave reviews (even if the item in question wasn't that great).  Many companies were using freebies as a way to build good reviews all over the internet, so that when a new customer googled them, they would see nothing but positive reviews.

Oct 26, 2009 05:25 AM #4
Daniel J. Hunter
REALTOR® - New Port Richey, FL

Thanks for the great Link Matt.  Timing could not be better, I was getting ready to through old posts this week once I figured out how to word it.  What a time saver.

Oct 26, 2009 05:33 AM #5
Jeanna Martinez
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX

Good info (as always) Matt!  I still have one question...Do we have to worry about this if we are writing about a product but really don't have a "relationship" with the company?  (i.e. a review of a restaurant that we are paying customers of).

Oct 26, 2009 06:48 AM #6
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Daniel - That's the best part of it - it's so easy to use.

Jeanna - I don't know how that applies really.  Probably better to be safe.

Oct 26, 2009 01:16 PM #7
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Wow, I missed this, Thanks looks great. Bookmarked for when someone thinks enough of me to give me their product for FREE so I can blog on it. :)

Oct 27, 2009 04:34 AM #8
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at RE/MAX Access - Philadelphia, PA
Real People. Real Dreams. Real Estate.

Matt - It is always good to plan ahead and better safe than sorry !  That must have been quite a power conversation.

Oct 31, 2009 01:13 PM #9
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Missy - We as real estate bloggers don't get all the cool free stuff those other bloggers do. We need to fix that. Some companies have figured it out, such as when Growth Leader gave out their product for a test run.

Christopher and Stephanie - We also discussed a one-click app for phones to buy domain names, so when you have a great idea, you can purchase the name while you're thinking of it.

Nov 01, 2009 09:56 PM #10
Michelle Fradella-Barfuss
Marketing Coach - ERA Brokers Consolidated - Salt Lake City, UT
Author of "Top 10 Mistakes Agents Make When Market

GREAT link, Thanks!!  I've been wondering what verbage to use for the disclaimers.



Nov 02, 2009 12:14 PM #11
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Cool.  Maybe one day I'll get paid for my opinion...  Maybe.  Ok, maybe not. 

Nov 03, 2009 12:39 PM #12
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