Is Affiliate Marketing Legal in the United States?

The United States government website is a reliable source for information on the legality of affiliate marketing. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces federal competition and consumer protection laws that prevent anticompetitive, deceptive, and unfair business practices. Consumers have rights that must be respected, and businesses must comply with the law to avoid penalties. The FTC's Affiliate Marketing Rule contains the information collection requirements as defined in 5 CFR 1320.3 (c).

It is important for businesses to disclose their links with confidence and not hide anything in order to find success in monetizing any affiliate marketing channel. The FTC provides an infographic that explains how affiliate marketing works. Missy Ward includes a Disclosure Policy in its Privacy Policy to contribute to transparency. The Dodd-Frank Act did not change the Commission's authority to enforce the Affiliate Marketing Rule, but it did restrict the Commission's regulatory authority with respect to the Rule.

The FTC requests public comments on its Affiliate Marketing Rule as part of its systematic review of all current Commission regulations and guidelines. Businesses must have an accurate and comprehensive Privacy Policy regardless of the structure and strategy of their affiliate marketing company. The affiliate marketing notice is in addition to the privacy notices already required and would be a mandatory second notice and an opportunity to opt out.

Sheldon Aksamit
Sheldon Aksamit

Incurable web scholar. Incurable social media geek. Professional analyst. Professional web junkie. Friendly twitter advocate.