Thursday, October 15, 2009

The (FTC) Empire Strikes Back

The Federal Trade Commission has revised guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials. This has provoked some reaction because of it's impact on bloggers. Most importantly:
A post from a blogger who receives cash or "in-kind payment" regarding a product (review) is considered an endorsement.

While I'm generally in favor of full disclosure, I am concerned that the guidelines seem to treat bloggers differently to "traditional media" i.e. it appears that if a blogger is given a free book to review they have to disclose that, while traditional media would not be expected to.

I don't see the difference. In fact, I can think of some journalists who I really think should do some disclosing: I'd love to see a full disclosure from Walt Mossberg of the value of software/hardware/meals/trips/t-shirts he's received from the companies he writes about.

In the mean time, here at NotesOnVideo I will be filling out the Federal Trade Commission's Blogger Remuneration Disclosure Form going forward, so look for excerpts from that.

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