I'm a bit confused at the moment... hope someone can help me out. I'd like to hire a temporary internet marketing team to promote my website on the internet.
I'd like them to promote it on discussion forums, blog comments, groups etc... wherever possible, of course i do not want them to spam these places but just mention my site when someone is looking/needs such a service as what my site offers or is possibly asking for some recommendations and they could probably answer with trying out the site's service.
Now my question is should the freelancers or temporary marketing staff be issuing any kind of disclaimers such as being associated with the site?
In the offline world, I imagine this scenario as similar to hiring a few people for a day to stick my business/company's banners/bills at public places(public libraries, shops that would allow this etc.) where my prospective customers hang out. Of Course there's no need for a disclaimer in this case.
So do i need to ask the temporary marketing staff to issue any disclaimers in the online world? I do not even know these people personally in the real world, they might be just some random freelancers contracted through freelance sites for a day or so for this work.
I probably want to avoid issuing the disclaimers because i do not want to set the people/users expectations that hang out at these sites about troubleshooting issues or answering their concerns/queries/feedback there as it's not possible for me or a small team to monitor all these places.
Is there anything legally or ethically wrong with what i'm suggesting?
The Federal Trade Commission has stated:
When there exists a connection between the endorser and the seller of the advertised product that might materially affect the weight or credibility of the endorsement (i.e., the connection is not reasonably expected by the audience), such connection must be fully disclosed.
So, yes, your paid endorsers need to disclose their paid relationship to your website, which they are promoting.
This topic is discussed more fully in Educate Employees about Online Endorsements – the FTC is Watching!.
Disclaimer: This information does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
If you hire a company to mention your website on forum postings that is the definition of spam. Unless they are knowledgeable regarding the subject matter of the forum, they will not be adding constructively to the community. The disclaimer only serves as a red flag. So don't spam the forums.
Focus more on inbound marketing rather than just having a bunch of people try to endorse you. Find where people need help in the space you can help then and drop a mention to your company/service when it feels appropriate.
Check SEOmoz, Hubspot and inbound.org for how to promote your stuff without coming off spammy or just plain sleazy.