Friday, 4 December 2009

Federal Trade Commission - US Policy

This, I think a hoot! US bloggers beware...

Interview with the FTC’s Richard Cleland

This morning, the Federal Trade Commission announced that its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials would be revised in relation to bloggers. The new guidelines (PDF) specified that bloggers making any representation of a product must disclose the material connections they (the presumed endorsers) share with the advertisers. What this means is that, under the new guidelines, a blogger’s positive review of a product may qualify as an “endorsement” and that keeping a product after a review may qualify as “compensation.”
How are they going to monitor this?! How will they find bloggers, who are often anonymous? I am a Canadian blogger and U.S. law doesn't apply to me. Many, many website feature reviews of pharmaceuticals, for example, with ads paid for on the site. It is a buyer beware world in which we live.
For my American friends: Here is a site that explains disclosure statements and helps you generate one.

The Federal Trade Commission published a recommendation that companies who promote their product through word-of-mouth marketing must disclose these relationships. The recommendation applies explicitly to blogging, meaning that bloggers must disclose the fact that they are being paid to promote or review a product whenever that is the case.


diane said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog.

judy in ky said...

I don't put testimonials or endorsements on my blog, so I guess (I hope) I don't have to worry about it.
I like your shout out to bloggers over 50... that's me!