*Update* Bloggers Must Disclose Payments for Reviews

Bloggers who offer endorsements must disclose any payments they have received from the subjects of their reviews or face penalties of up to $11,000 per violation, the Federal Trade Commission said Monday.

The agency, charged with protecting consumer interests, had not updated its policy on endorsements in nearly three decades, well before the Internet became a force in shaping consumer tastes. The new rules attempt to make more transparent corporate payments to bloggers, research firms and celebrities that help promote a product…

More here: Washington Post

Hat tip to The Right Blue:professional-blogger_id3720781_size480_2row

The Federal Trade Commission on Monday took steps to make product information and online reviews more accurate for consumers, regulating blogging for the first time and mandating that testimonials reflect typical results.

The FTC will require that writers on the Web clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products. The commission also said advertisers featuring testimonials that claim dramatic results cannot hide behind disclaimers that the results aren’t typical…

…Violating the rules, which take effect Dec. 1, could result in various sanctions including a lawsuit…

…To placate such fears, Cleland said the FTC will more likely go after an advertiser instead of a blogger for violations…

…The consumer advocacy group said lack of disclosure is a big problem in blogs. To mainly crack down on companies that give out freebies or pay bloggers won’t always solve the problem. By going after bloggers as well, ”you put far more pressure on them to behave properly,” Gillis said.

Cleland said a blogger who receives a freebie without the advertiser knowing would not violate FTC guidelines. For example, someone who gets a free bag of dog food as part of a promotion from a pet shop wouldn’t violate FTC guidelines if he writes about the product on his blog…

More Here: “Bloggers Must Disclose Payments for Reviews

Remind myself to disclose EVERYTHING on my blog…  I think I have done that fairly well.

Mahalo to my sponsors… As well as the future sponsors coming on board soon.

2 Responses

  1. So Damon, in plane language, how does this affect us?

    • Don’t think it would affect either of us as we are quite open about our blogs and our sponsorships.

      This doesn’t cover “Ads” on blogs so to speak.

      This would cover things more like my trip I took to Waikiki where Wikiwikimart paid for my Tickets and Aquahotels paid for my hotel. The entire time there I blogged about the Ilikai hotel as well as other things and I was quite honest in my blog postings and even thanked them directly on my blog for the trip.

      Basically saying… If a shoe company gives you a pair of shoes… and then you blog about how great they are… you need to say that the shoes were given to you by the company.

      But also… remember this law doesn’t come into effect until Dec. 1st anyways.

      Take for example the post below this… If I were to have gotten a Free Zipline adventure for posting that… I would have had to disclose that.

      I got nothing for posting it… only trying to help the company out. No need to disclose anything… as it was a Media Release anyways.

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