44 Compliance References – A Complete List For ECommerce (2023)

There’s been a lot of drama recently.

A well-known guru published a 1,323-word FB post talking about how FTC decided to audit his first company.

The guru concluded that:

  • He did nothing wrong.
  • The FTC was going after earning claims.
  • They only settled due to the pressure of litigation.

This ended up causing a stir in the marketing world.

Fanboys praising the guru for being transparent and honest.

Successor claiming he took over very late in the timeline.

And haters (plus some unhappy customers) cheering for FTC.

😂

Now, I’m not a fan nor a hater.

And I don’t know the details of the settlement.

But if I’m guessing, I’d say:

99% of marketers ARE making some false earning claims.

(Even if they think they’re legit.)

The only difference is that you probably have to be doing over $5M to show up on FTC’s radar. (FTC only has ~1,123 employees, and they have a lot of grounds to cover. lol)

But this brings us to a key question:

How well do you know the compliance rules for each platform?

And that’s why I created a grand list of eCommerce compliances for easy reference. I hope you find it helpful.

Disclaimer: I’m only including the links in this article, not my interpretation. Because 1) I don’t make the decision, 2) platforms change their rules ALL THE TIME. 

One last note: You don’t have to be an expert on every platform. It’s okay to focus on the rules for the ones you’re using.

E-Commerce Compliance and Policies

(Photo by Roberto Cortese on Unsplash)

Here you go:

E-Commerce Industry Compliances:

  • Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Online Advertising and Marketing Compliances: There are a bunch. You’ll have to check if any applies to your industry. (link)
  • Federal Communications Commission’s Compliances: They handles complaints for broadcast advertising, junk FAX 🤯, radio, TV, cable, and broadcast satellite system. (link)
  • FTC’s Deceptive or Unfair Earning Claims: This doesn’t apply to eCommerce as much… but, hey, I have to include this, right? 😈 (link)
  • Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance: This is regarding the security standards for handling credit/debit card transactions. (here and here)
  • Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA): This is the restriction on collecting personal information for children under 13. (link)
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): This is the infamous regulation for processing data and private information across the EU. Remember when every marketer and their mom was worried about GDPR? 🥴 (link)
  • Local and international Shipping Regulations: You must pay extra attention if you’re selling foods and perishables. Unfortunately, this is regulated by local laws or the shipping provider. So, you’ll have to look up your case.
  • Sales Tax: We all hate tax but still have to deal with it. Again, this is another one of those “It Depends” situations. (Bad news: If you’re in the United States, you probably have one of the most complicated tax laws in the world 🤣)
  • Affiliate Marketing: Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful marketing strategies. However, the FTC does require you to disclose your practice. (here and here)

E-Commerce Email Marketing Compliances:

  • CAN-SPAM Act (US): This is actually pretty straightforward. In short, don’t be a douchebag who spam people without an unsubscribe option. (link)
  • CASL Laws (Canada): Same spirit (link)
  • Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (UK): Same spirit (link)
  • Spam Act (Australia): Same spirit (link)
  • Also, reference GDPR in the previous section.

Want help creating email marketing campaigns that cultivate raving fans and repeat customers? Let’s talk.

Social Media Marketing

(Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash)

E-Commerce Advertising & Social Media Platforms Compliances:

I don’t know which platform you’re using… so I listed the most common ones.

  • Amazon Ad Guideline and Policies (1, 2, 3, 4, etc)
  • Meta (Facebook) Advertising/Content Standards (link, link, and link)
  • Google Advertising Terms & Policies (here and here)
  • Google Search Engine Optimization Rules (link)
  • Google Search Content Policies (link)
  • YouTube Advertising & Content Guidelines (link, link, and link)
  • TikTok Advertising & Content Policies (link, link, link, and link)
  • Instagram Promotion Policies (here and here)
  • LinkedIn Advertising Policies (link)
  • X (Twitter) Ads Policies (link)
  • Pinterest Advertising Guidelines (link)
  • FTC Native Advertising Guidelines (link)
  • Outbrain Advertising Guidelines (link)
  • Taboola Advertising Policies (link)
  • Revcontent Policies and Guidelines (here and here)
  • Bing (Microsoft) Advertising Policies (link)

Okay, I think that’s enough to blow your mind. 🙂

That said, I’m pretty sure specific regulations exist for your unique industry – like food, supplements, and electronics all have their laws.

Not to mention city/state/country-specific regulations – like the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018…

But I can’t list out every regulation in the world. 

I don’t think even the public library has this information.

So, at the end of the day…

If you have any concerns, it’s better (& safer) to talk to an attorney first. And if you’re interested in creating some “complying” email campaign…

I can help.