Affiliate Marketing Content Must Be Compliant
Free speech protections go away when there is marketing material connection
Affiliate marketers continue to be scrutinized for making claims.
A few years ago, affiliate warning letters were nearly nonexistent. Now regulators are savvy and are no longer tolerating claims where there is material connection.
Affiliates develop content in hopes of bringing consumers to their site which then hyperlinks to a shopping cart for purchasing the mentioned product. Affiliates get a cut of sales which can be 30%, so you can see the incentive for sensationalized content. Affiliate relationships should also be disclosed clearly and conspicuously. Affiliates are responsible for the accuracy and compliance of their statements. The difference between "Average Jane" and affiliates is the material connection. If there is no material connection, including free product and employee/family relationships, consumers can say pretty much anything about products they like.
Original Q&A published here.
Disclaimer: The educational information provided here is for informational purposes only. Contact an attorney for specific legal advice. Rule #1 in compliance is to ensure marketing is truthful and not misleading.