We were recently introduced to CMP.ly, a service by which to transparently disclose your connection (if any) to the content you publish. CMP.ly aims to provide bloggers and advertisers with a set of easily identifiable disclosures and codes that can be used to identify any material connections in blog posts, tweets or other communications. The service can be used by accessing CMP.ly’s (free) standard disclosures, signing up for a CMP.ly account to use and manage custom disclosures, or by joining an existing marketing campaign. The service also presents an opportunity for advertisers to manage disclosures across multiple brands and campaigns, to maintain audit trails of the disclosure process.
CMP.ly exists in response to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s revised Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising – these now include blog posts, word of mouth campaigns and even Twitter messages. If a blogger or writer is reviewing or endorsing products and were given products or compensation relating to those posts, they must disclose those relationships.While the revised rules took effect on December 1, 2009, there was previously no established structure or format for disclosures to follow, and no simple way for advertisers to manage and monitor the disclosures for their campaigns. CMP.ly’s solution includes a free public disclosure engine that allows anyone to disclose based upon their specific situation.
CMP.ly is meant to increase transparency at a time when brand conversations take place between both individual consumers and fans – and between professionals with a sometimes vested interest. The service is one step towards ensuring that some of those conversations – and particularly reviews and recommendations – are published with sincerity and authenticity regarding the writer’s relationship to the brand.