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  1. #1
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    My wife is urging me to find out what product liability risk I have, if any, as an affiliate. Her thinking is that because I am reviewing the products and merchants on my site, it is equivalent to making product claims and therefore I could theoretically be sued for false advertising if products or services were not as represented.
    My take is that anyone would likely go after the merchants and manufacturers, who are sitting on far more cash than affiliates like myself.
    Has anyone here looked into this type of stuff? Do you folks put disclaimers and such on your sites?

    Pardon me if this is on the wrong forum, but I couldn't think where else to post it.

  2. #2
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
    You are responsible for what is said on your website.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 18th, 2005
    I think that if you made a claim about a product that turned out to be fraudulent, and the merchant vanished, then you could end up being sued for making false claims if the person couldn't go after the merchant. They might come after you instead. Be careful what you publish on your site

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Akiva's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
    New Jersey
    If you are making statements *about* the products, you definately need a disclaimer. (Anything other than facts ie what the product is made of, would be considered *about*)

    Akiva Bergstrom
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  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    St Clair Shores MI.
    Rule #1 as an affiliate is to review the site and investigate the ebiz plan of any merchant your going to push on shoppers with pre-sell spin. This step seperates the trusted merchants who will complete orders from the wanks who have ulterior motives with the shopper traffic you send them.

    Basically I have never pushed any free offer lead merchant since 1997. I don't even push lead merchants ( all just middlemen) unless their brand ( Lending Tree -CitiBank -American Express) is important enough to them to muzzle their middlemen marketers.

    Pushing dubious merchants like the Free-Car folks should put you right into any legal battle over supporting ripp-off artists. Since 1997 I have never received an irrate e-mail from any EcomCity shopper complaining they didn't receive what they ordered from one of my links...even if I didn't get paid the commission.

    No irrate e-mails from referral shoppers is priceless. Jump on the greed train and you deserve to get dragged into court with the perps. That goes for the networks who ignor the fact they promote merchants who are just outright con-men and known spam privacy scraping front ends.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    I would think that giving your personal opinion on a product that you have used or researched, stating that it is your opinion would be a bit different than just making product claims.
    I would also suggest not promoting any product that you think is junk. Even though people love to buy junk!

  7. #7
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    It depends on the claim. "Advertising hyperbole" is allowed. That is, words like "great," "excellent," etc. This is because words like that are, by definition, OPINION and it's legal to give your opinion on things.

    BUT...if change "great" to "the best"--you have crossed the fine line. "The Best" indicates a particular position in a heirarchy (#1) and therefore falls into the realm of quantifiable fact. So you can only say it if it really is a fact.

    I've seen advice that says things are okay as long as it's "obviously an opinion." But when it comes to legality, "obvious" isn't so, well, obvious!

    Basically, shy away from things that can be scientifically proven unless you can prove it. Sometimes there's legal and illegal versions of a claim, too:

    LEGAL: I think Barq's is the only soda worth drinking.

    ILLEGAL: According to taste tests, Barq's is the preferred soft drink.

    The illegal version gives the impression that a group of people have tasted it, compared it with some Brand X, and picked Barq's. The legal version, especially with the "I think" in there, is obviously a personal opinion. Pepsi can't sue me for having a personal preference for a Coke product! But if I say others shared that preference in a test, you can bet their lawyers would be in contact wanting to see the affidavits from the people, attesting to which choice they picked.

    (You may be thinking, "but a taste test measures people's opinions!" Yes, but the implied claim of a taste test is that, "out of a group, most people will prefer X." Whether a group really will prefer X, IS scientifically verifiable.)

    Of course, if you really DO conduct a taste test, you can claim it from the rooftops with impunity!

    That's just one example but hopefully it'll give some idea.

    It is a beautiful thing, to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.~Spanish Proverb

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