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Why do I have to identify myself as an Associate? How should I do this on social media?

Anytime you share an affiliate link, it's important to disclose that to your audience.  They will trust you more if you are transparent about where you are directing them and why.  To meet the Associate Program's requirements, you must (1) include a legally compliant disclosure with your links and (2) identify yourself on your Site as an Amazon Associate with the language required by the Operating Agreement.

To comply with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations, your link-level disclosure must be:

  1. Clear.  A clear disclosure could be as simple as "(paid link)", "#ad", or "#CommissionsEarned".
  2. Conspicuous.  It should be placed near any affiliate link or product review in a location that customers will notice easily.  They shouldn't have to hunt for it.          

In addition, the Operating Agreement requires that the following statement clearly and conspicuously appears on your Site:  "As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases."  For social media user-generated content, this statement must be associated with your account.

Associates should also consider the relevant social media platform's guidelines.  For example, Associates may use Facebook's Branded Content tool.

It is important to remember that the disclosure must be made in the medium in which the recommendation was provided (for example, if you are recommending a product in an Alexa skill and your product recommendation utilizes voice, then the disclosure must be in voice, if it is in text, then the disclosure must be in text, and if it utilizes both, then the disclosure must be in both mediums).  In addition, for Alexa skills, this disclosure must be made each time a customer re-engages with your Alexa skill that contains an Alexa Shopping Action that has been tagged with your Associate ID, and should be made as close as possible in time to when your Alexa skill prompts customers to engage with an Alexa Shopping Action that has been tagged with your Associate ID.  It is not sufficient to merely add this disclosure to the details page of your Alexa skill.  

To read more about FTC Endorsement Guides, visit https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking#affiliate.  You can also find more guidance in the FTC’s Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers.

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