PayPerPost has rolled out a new Terms of Service which, as effective today, requires bloggers to announce that specific Postvertising is indeed paid for.
From the PayPerPost press release:
Since creating the concept of sponsored posting, PayPerPost has allowed and encouraged transparency, enabling marketers and bloggers to disclose word-of-mouth (WOM) or buzz marketing relationships. The company provides bloggers with tools to empower disclosure and has popularized the concept of adopting a Disclosure Policy for all bloggers through DisclosurePolicy.org. Consistent with WOM industry guidelines, PayPerPost also prohibits marketers who use the PayPerPost marketplace from requesting no disclosure. Today’s announcement builds upon that foundation.
“The mission of PayPerPost has always been to be the top marketplace connecting bloggers and marketers,” said Ted Murphy, chief executive officer of PayPerPost. “We have always believed that the marketplace will naturally evolve based upon needs of the marketers and bloggers participating in the market. Proper transparency for WOM marketing has been an ongoing balance for our members and an issue with little legal precedent. Although the FTC was petitioned and recently declined any formal action against buzz marketing practices (e.g. Proctor & Gamble Tremor, BzzAgents), we believe the marketers and bloggers in our marketplace will benefit from today’s Terms of Service updates. We will undoubtedly lose some marketers and bloggers in the process, however we believe this measure serves our marketplace participants long term.”
As part of this announcement, we invite a competing and even larger part of the WOM marketing industry, affiliate marketers, to join PayPerPost in mandating full disclosure. Mary Engle, FTC director of advertising practices, recently stated “the FTC examines a number of criteria in deciding whether to bring a case against a marketer but usually looks more closely at actions that lead consumers to make purchase decisions. Some word-of-mouth marketing is focused on getting consumers to visit websites rather than to make immediate purchases.” Given that affiliate programs, regardless of FTC disclosure adherence, specifically reward bloggers for driving immediate purchases, affiliate marketers are encouraged to mandate disclosure, or embrace WOM marketplaces like PayPerPost that deliver the highest online marketing ROI with less risk of future FTC scrutiny.
PayPerPost’s new Terms of Service require participating content creators to fully disclose site wide with a prominent Disclosure Policy or on a per post basis. To cover the increased blogger and marketplace costs of the company’s new policy, PayPerPost is raising the minimum price per post by one dollar to five dollars per post. The company’s marketplace remains the lowest cost, highest value provider of online WOM or buzz marketing. “PayPerPost believes that its marketing partners will support this new pricing structure. Although our operating costs will increase slightly due to today’s move, the net result is a stronger communications environment for all. We encourage online WOM networks of all kinds, whether blog-based, affiliate or other models, to follow suit.”