05 October 2009

the federal trade commission will try to regulate blogging for the first time

the ftc said monday its commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the final web guidelines, requiring writers on the web to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products...read more.

snip from the ftc's press release

The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long standing principle that "material connections" (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect – must be disclosed.

These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other "word-of-mouth" marketers. The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement.

Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service.~ read more
we think that this disclosure rule should also apply to those bloggers who are getting paid to post what amounts to campaign ads disguised as random posts to their blogs.

UPDATE: stephen sabludowsky finally writes something we can agree with! see: ftc bogs down on bloggers, web writers @ bayou buzz.