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Learn to Create a “Legal” Podcast Ad Before Hitting Record

I think it’s safe to say that it’s a goal for every podcaster is to either use the podcast as a tool to bring in business directly, or to line up some bangin’ sponsorships and advertisements on the show. (Maybe both.)

But there are some rules for advertising on podcasts.

This post will educate you on “legally” advertising on your podcast and by the end you’ll have a good understanding of certain rules that you need to keep in mind if you want to create a “legal” podcast ad.

Online sponsorships in general

So if you’ve been following Spear IP for a while, you’ve heard me talk about sponsored posts on instagram and influencer and blogger sponsorships, right Essentially, the FTC says that you must be fair and clear and transparent when there is a sponsored relationship with a brand that you are promoting.

So how does this apply to podcasts? Well, if your audience has to ask “Was that an advertisement just now?”

You’re not doing it right.

Just as with the instagram and influencer space, in the podcast space it must be clear to your audience when there is a sponsorship relationship with a brand.

Remember, too, that you don’t have to receive actual money in order for there to be a sponsored relationship with a brand, right? If they send you free goods or if you get free services in exchange for promoting a brand on the podcast, that’s a sponsored relationship.

A quick example of a “legal” podcast ad

create a "legal" podcast ad before hitting record

So how do you create a “legal” podcast ad?
Well, one of my favorite examples is on the podcast The Sporkful.
They have this great couple of variations of a sound reel that goes something like “Mmm, time for some advertisements! Yummy!”  (Hear it for yourself.) So obviously, the content that follows is an advertisement.

You don’t have to go that far, but something like a sound effect, to kind of break up the actual podcast content from the advertising content, that could work, of course saying that there’s a sponsored relationship or saying that it’s an advertisement, or that the podcast is powered by or sponsored by a company, that’s pretty clear.

An easy-to-understand breakdown of the rules for creating a “legal” podcast ad

Keep in mind that a clear disclaimer or a clear disclosure is not ambiguous.

And you can stay on brand when you make that disclosure! It doesn’t have to be dry or technical or super legal-sounding. if you have a personal experience with a brand, or a product, or a service, you can tell that story, it’s just that it should still be clear that there is a sponsorship at play. Your listeners shouldn’t question whetheryou’ve received something in exchange for giving that testimonial about the brand.

So there you go. You need your clear disclosures, and now you have a few ways that you can set off that ad content from the actual body of the podcast episode.

I hope that those things help you understand certain rules when the time comes to create a “legal” podcast ad.

And hey, if you’re interviewing guests for your podcast, check out Spear IP’s Podcast Guest Contract Kit™.