It’s always been a good idea and the right thing to do, but now the Federal Trade Commission will require bloggers to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products.
It is the first time since 1980 that the commission has revised its guidelines on endorsements and testimonials, and the first time the rules have covered bloggers, but the commission stopped short of specifying how bloggers must disclose any conflicts of interest.
The FTC said its commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the final guidelines, which had been expected. Penalties include up to $11,000 in fines per violation.
I have often questioned some blogs shady practices of citation, quotes, reviews and fawning, and welcome this new rule, though I can’t figure out how it will be enforced.
Though not specified, I’m assuming there will be a dollar threshold, but perhaps not. Greg Swann has written about his displeasure with real estate bloggers accepting gifts and hasn’t hesitated to share his disapproval.
Though I don’t think it’s a huge problem in the real estate blogs, other game and tech blogs and so-called “Mommy Blogs” may have to change their tactics.