In December 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released the following guides concerning the use of endorsements in advertising. Udemy requires all their affiliates or partners paid-per-placements to comply with these guidelines at all times when promoting Udemy. Please note that all examples are meant as guidance only and do not, in any way, represent Udemy’s legal advice to you.
In order for Udemy affiliates and partners paid-per-placement to comply with these guidelines, you must disclose to consumers the fact that you are receiving commissions or payment for promoting Udemy. Failure to do so may result in immediate removal from our affiliate program and cancellation of any pending commissions or payments.
All disclosures must meet four basic requirements. They must be frequent, clear, conspicuous, and require no scrolling or other type of user action to locate.
Below we provide more clarification for each of the four basic requirements specific to Udemy.
- Frequent: Your disclosure must appear on any website, social media post, video, article or review that promotes Udemy using affiliate links or paid placements.
Clear: It must be immediately clear that you may receive compensation from Udemy for your review, promotion or recommendation. Do not promise or imply neutrality or independence where in fact a commission or compensation is driving the presentation or promotion of Udemy on your website or any other online promotion.
Examples of clear disclosures you can use when promoting Udemy:
In text form:
- Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.
- Disclosure: We are a participant in the Udemy Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for our site to earn fees by linking to Udemy.com.
- Disclosure: Our team writes about stuff we think you'll like. We aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting, and if you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our partner, Udemy.
- Disclosure: Our team is always looking for things we think our readers will value. If we make an affiliate partnership like the one featured in this article, then we may see a share of revenue.
- Welcome to Our Site! Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We tested and reviewed the web hosting sites ranked here. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.
In a social media:
- Use hashtags commonly known to consumers such as #ad or #sponsored in any social media post that includes affiliate links
In video format:
- You have to verbally state before you talk about our product that "Udemy has sponsored this video" or "I'm a Udemy Affiliate so I may receive compensation if you purchase a Udemy course after watching this video". Having an annotation or note in the description box is a plus.
- For Youtube: Check the "video contains paid promotion" box under the "Content declaration" section when you upload the video.
- In text form:
Examples of an unclear disclosures:
In text form:
- Disclosure: We are a website that needs compensation to operate like any other website on the internet. We may receive consideration for our reviews but we are totally unbiased and do not accept paid reviews or fake reviews claiming to be something they are not.
- Clarification: this “disclosure” is omitting the most important information: that a commission is paid for purchases made through links in the post, or that commission or conversion rates are influencing the placement or content of the rankings or reviews.
- In social media:
- The use the hashtags #aff or #affiliate in any social media post that includes affiliate links
- Clarification: the social media hashtags #aff or #affiliate are not proper disclosures as these terms are not familiar to the average consumer
- In video format:
- Just stating that you got a “sneak peek” is not sufficient as it doesn't clearly state to consumers your relationship with Udemy
- Just having a link to an official disclosure in the description box or as an annotation is also not sufficient.
- Disclosures can’t be placed somewhere that could be easily missed, for example at the end of your video, which is why you should always state it in your video before you talk about Udemy.
- In text form:
- Examples of clear disclosures you can use when promoting Udemy:
Conspicuous: The disclosure must be clear and easy to see. It should begin with the word “disclosure.” No scrolling should be necessary in order to find the disclosure. For the disclosure to be considered clear, make sure you comply with the following guidelines:
Font should be:
- At least as large as the main text on the page
- In a color other than black or gray
- In contrast with both with its background and the main text
- Darker than its background or the main text.
Video disclosure should be:
- Mentioned in the video itself and be long enough to be noticed, read, and understood by consumers
- Font should be:
Require No Action: Your disclosure must be immediately evident to a typical visitor to your site who views a review, ranking or endorsement on a PC, Mac, or mobile device. A visitor should not need to scroll, click or hover to learn that you receive compensation. If you do include a clickable link or additional information when a visitor hovers over text, the language of the link itself should reveal the fact that you receive compensation.
Example of a link that requires no action:
- Disclosure: We are compensated for our reviews. Click here for details.
- Keep this in mind: Simply telling the visitor that they can “Click/hover here to read our FTC disclosure” is not adequate. You need to signal through plain words, such as “Advertising Disclosure” that the “disclosure” is relevant to the potential for editorial bias due to commissions.
- Example of a link that requires no action:
Special guidelines for Udemy employees who are also affiliates in the Udemy Affiliate Program:
As a Udemy employee, you need to add additional disclosures to all your affiliate promotions that clearly state your employee relationship with Udemy.
- Examples of clear disclosures:
- Disclosure: This site is run by a Udemy employee who are also participates in the Udemy Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for our website to earn fees by linking to Udemy.com.
- For Social Media Posts: Use the following additional hashtags commonly known to consumers #udemyemployee #iworkforUdemy in addition to the #ad or #sponsored hashtags
More information about the FTC Disclosure requirements is available at:
Summary of changes (Effective August 1st, 2017):
Effective on August 1st, 2017, the Udemy Affiliate Team will have a new baseline commission for our affiliate program running on Rakuten Linkshare.
The new baseline will grant the following baseline commission to affiliates who apply to the Udemy Affiliate Program on or after August 1st, 2017:
- Commission: 20% in commissions for all paid Udemy courses; 0% for any In-app purchases of Udemy courses.
- Return Days or Cookie Window: 7 days
This new baseline commission does not affect any affiliate who was approved in the Udemy Affiliate Program before June 30th, 2017.
The Udemy Affiliate Team will regularly review the commissions given to our affiliates and commissions may need to be adjusted based on type of website you run as an affiliate or based on any changes on your promotions. In that case, the Udemy Affiliate Team will notify you of any updates directly via email.
If you are unsure how much in commissions you are currently receiving as a Udemy Affiliate, feel free to check on your Rakuten Linkshare account. To find your current commission, login to your Rakuten Linkshare account here. Then go to Programs> My Advertisers> Udemy to see the commission you are currently assigned to.