These revised guidelines take effect on December 1, 2009 but, until today, there was no established structure or format for disclosures to follow. Included in the Cmp.ly solution are a series of simple and transparent disclosures that are identifiable at a quick glance, even within the tight constraints of 140 character twitter messages.
Cmp.ly provides six standard disclosures that are intended to cover all material connection disclosures. Each disclosure is identified using a number as follows:
CMP.ly/0 - No connection, unpaid, my own opinions
CMP.ly/1 - Based upon a review copy
CMP.ly/2 - Given a sample by vendor/agency/brand
CMP.ly/3 - Paid post - cash payment or other compensation
CMP.ly/4 - Employee/shareholder/business relationship
CMP.ly/5 - Custom Disclosure
All Cmp.ly disclosures will follow a standardized URL format that will identify the type of disclosure, the user account and a unique identifying number for the specific instance. All of this data can be included in a shortened URL using as few as 8 characters and can be included in a blog post to appear wherever that content is republished.
"The need for disclosure in commercial blogging has been well established and the move to disclosure will foster transparency and honesty," explained Kris Smith, Cmp.ly's co-founder. "There have been a number of industry disclosure guidelines issued to date, but there was always uncertainty with regard to the FTC's regulation of the space. Now that the FTC has made it clear that they will require disclosure, we feel it is time for a standardized disclosure format, one which will be clear, concise and easy to understand".
"We feel that it is important that brands, marketers and bloggers understand the implications of the changes that will go into effect on December 1," said Tom Chernaik, Cmp.ly's co-founder and founder of DigComm. "It is clear that disclosures must be included in posts, tweets and other communications, but the methods of disclosure have not been clearly defined. We hope to address this with a turnkey and simple disclosure format that can be easily adopted and implemented by parties wishing to disclose the nature of their relationships in an effort to be in compliance with the FTC's regulations".
Cmp.ly is a proposed standard for disclosure of material connections as required under the revised guidelines. Please note that these guidelines will be clarified in the coming weeks and months and that our disclosures may evolve as we get feedback from our users.
The Cmp.ly structure was designed to accommodate a wide variety of circumstances and is easily adapted with our custom disclosures. We will to provide thought leadership and education with a board of advisors though the Cmply Foundation at www.cmply.org. In the coming weeks, Cmp.ly will develop out additional tools to manage disclosures and provide reporting tools for brands and agencies to monitor and report on the required disclosures. We also plan to work together with leading brands, agencies and organizations to ensure that our disclosures address their concerns so that our format can be established as the preferred method of disclosure.
CMP.ly facilitates disclosure and provides a simple and easy method to disclose material connections in the content that you publish. Cmp.ly disclosures follow a standard naming convention that is easy for readers to understand and can be used for disclosures in print, online, SMS, tweets or other digital communications. For more information, visit http://cmp.ly.
DigComm (The Digital Communications Group) specializes in developing and providing digital communications tools for PR Agency, Social Media Agency, Brand and other clients who are seeking creative solutions to manage their communications efforts across social, digital and traditional media spaces. DigComm is a division of the Begodo Holding Corporation. For more information, visit www.DigComm.com.