Most people do not know that their Amazon Associates account may be at risk. I have been setting up some niche sites that contain posts with links to Amazon products as well as an Amazon store. While surfing the internet for themes and plugins that I can use on these sites, I came across information regarding people getting their Amazon Associates accounts banned. That peaked my interest since I am starting to develop niche sites as another stream of income. There is some text that needs to be at the end of every post and every page that contains Amazon affiliate links.
Amazon Associates Program Operating Agreement
I decided to go read the Amazon Associates Program Operating Agreement. The last sentence of Section 10, Identifying Yourself as an Associate describes what language you must include on your site. You must, however, clearly state the following on your site: “[Insert your name] is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to [insert the applicable site name (amazon.com, endless.com, amazonsupply.com, or myhabit.com)].”
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
After investigating the Amazon requirements, I decided to research what the Federal Trade Commission has to say about this affiliate disclosure. I found a document, The FTC’s Revised Endorsement Guides: What People are Asking. I searched for affiliate marketing and it states that the relationship needs to be disclosed clearly and conspicuously on your site. It also states the following: “As for where to place a disclosure, the guiding principle is that it has to be clear and conspicuous. Putting disclosures in obscure places – for example, buried on an ABOUT US or GENERAL INFO page, behind a poorly labeled hyperlink or in a terms of service agreement – isn’t good enough. The average person who visits your site must be able to notice your disclosure, read it and understand it.”
Now, I am more than a little concerned. I continue to search the internet to figure out how I can comply with this requirement. There are three options available: insert the text manually onto your WordPress site, find a paid plugin or find a free plugin. To manually add the disclosure, you can put it in the footer of every page that has Amazon links.
If you are an Amazon Associate, please make sure that you comply with the rules. For some people, this is a significant income stream. To lose the ability to promote Amazon products would be devastating.