A friend of mine who is a Just Host affiliate sent me a email he got from justhost.com. He runs a blog that is part personal / part business advice. Where he places ads from hosts like Just Host, and other hosts through a rotating script. Unlike the review sites that I go after he does not provide any endorsement for any of the hosts whose ads appear on his site. He engages in a true form of advertising. I for one would not run ads for them as I was not impress with the speed of the server when I had to upload a site for a customer. This was a host that was supposed to have bought by Endurance International Group. Which if true, would be the first of their hosts that I have ever tried. My experience with Just Host can be found at:
A copy of the Email from Just Host / Justhost.com
Dear Just Host Affiliate,We’ve made an important addition to the Just Host Affiliate Agreement that may impact the way you manage your online promotions.The change expressly requires you to disclose that there is a “material connection” between you and Just Host anytime you offer an endorsement or testimonial on our services. This disclosure is necessary in order to be deemed in compliance with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.View the FTC Endorsement Requirement in the Affiliate Agreement. WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU If you provide reviews, rankings, endorsements or testimonials about a service for which you receive commissions from us, you must clearly disclose the fact that you receive such compensation in a clear and prominent place–that is close to your endorsement.The FTC takes the Endorsement guidelines seriously and has started to enforce them for both content providers like yourself and advertisers like Just Host.As an advertiser, Just Host will monitor affiliate sites to be sure our services are represented appropriately. Under the updated Affiliate Agreement, failure to comply with the endorsement guidelines could result in removal from our affiliate program and the cancellation of commissions.TIPS FOR MAKING SURE YOUR SITE IS COMPLIANTTo make it easier for you, we’ve pulled together information, based on a recent FTC enforcement case, to illustrate ways you can disclose a material connection between you and your advertisers. Take a few minutes to review this summary at:Just Host Affiliate Disclosure Requirements and ExamplesThe FTC also offers a variety of resources to help make it easier for you to comply with the guidelines, including:
- Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
- The FTC’s Revised Endorsement Guides: What People are Asking
- Dot Com Disclosures: Information About Online Advertising
Please note: These links are intended to provide guidance only. If you provide endorsements of some type, you should obtain legal advice on how the FTC rules apply to you.
Please take steps immediately to make sure your site is in compliance with these guidelines. Several of our leading affiliates have already posted their disclosures, and they continue to enjoy great success.
The Just Host Affiliate Team
So what does this email from Just Host / Justhost.com mean?
In short if your a review site, and you don’t disclose that you created your site for the purpose of making money they will remove you from the affiliate program. Here are the steps they recommend to be in compliance with the FTC.
- Frequent: Disclosures must be available on any page that has an endorsement.
- Clear: Language must be easy to understand; don’t attempt to hide the fact that it’s a disclosure.
- Conspicuous: Place your disclosure close to your endorsement or review. Differentiate the disclosure’s font treatment from the rest of your site.
- Require no action: The user shouldn’t need to click, hover or scroll to locate or understand the nature of your disclosure.
I have to wonder if I am going to see more letters to other affiliates, if Just Host is owned by Endurance International Group. Here is hoping this is a trend that puts this site off line.
If Just Host sticks with this, I have to commend them on doing things ethically. I hope they did not start doing this because the FTC contacted them first. I will be sure to contact them should I find any violators.