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Blog Disclosure : The ASA clarify the rules

We wrote about the importance of blog disclosure earlier this year, yet it seems that more and more bloggers are choosing to close their eyes when it comes to the legalities around disclosing paid relationships with brands.

The rules are quite simple, if you’ve been paid (or given a product) in return for a post on your blog then you have to make that clear to your readers.

Blog Disclosure the rules

Today, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), stepped up with an article on their site to clarify any confusion that bloggers or brands might have.

The ASA Rules State

  • Marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such.
  • Unsolicited e-mail marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as marketing communications without the need to open them.
  • Marketing communications must not falsely claim or imply that the marketer is acting as a consumer or for purposes outside its trade, business, craft or profession; marketing communications must make clear their commercial intent, if that is not obvious from the context.
  • Marketers and publishers must make clear that advertorials are marketing communications; for example, by heading them “advertisement feature”.

It’s essential reading for bloggers, PR’s and brands, not to mention all those SEO agencies asking for non disclosure and follow links on a daily basis. We suggest you bookmark it and send the link to every approach by someone suggesting you break the law.

UPDATE : CAP (Committee for Advertising Practice), also published an article on correct disclosure today that includes recent examples of complaints against blog posts that have been upheld by the ASA.

Out of interest, how often are you asked not to disclose by an advertiser or brand?



Sian To is Cybher founder, social media consultant, blogger, mother, workaholic, geek. Passionate about promoting women in tech and best practice in social whilst soaking up as much useful information as she can in the process.

8 Comments Write a comment

  1. I’ve never been asked not to disclose, but I do wonder when these same rules will apply to print media. Always feels very double standarded.


  2. Recently I’ve not been asked not to disclose but I have been asked to use “featured” or “brought to you in partnership with…”. I’m more comfortable with the term “sponsored” or “featured” but not “guest post” when it’s been paid for.


  3. I get asked to do it all the time and I think it is ridiculous. My readers know me well enough to know that I’m not going to throw anything at them that I wouldn’t stand behind, so they trust that even when I am getting paid that I am going to have integrity.


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  5. I’m asked not to disclose daily and since I took a stand earlier this year, I’ve gone from received scores of requests a week to barely receiving any at all simply because PR company’s are not willing to disclose.


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