Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Full Disclosure

In reference to: Advertising - F.T.C. to Rule Blogs Must Disclose Gifts or Pay for Reviews - NYTimes.com (view on Google Sidewiki)

Bloggers are watching this news from the FTC carefully -- or at least they should be. If you are wondering where I stand, know that I don't get paid for my tweets or for my posts. I do not "place" articles for advertisers. And when I do take freebies, I always let you know.

For more information about my advertising and sponsorship policies, check out this link:

Questions? Comments? Leave them below. And thanks for reading!


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I just read this today and it's outrageous--there aren't bigger fish to fry in the game of false advertising? COME ON! I look at a blogger's endorsement of a product the same way I do as a friend's. That speech shouldn't be regulated.

Angela K. Nickerson said...

I agree with you, Green Girl. But actually, if you read the FTC guidelines, they are going after the bigger fish... the guidelines spend much more ink talking about commercials featuring celebrity endorsements, companies that create "blogs" which are really just big advertisements, and other more high-profile examples. In fact, celebrities have more to worry about as they are going to have to disclose all of the free clothes and products they are given to wear. It seems to me that blogs are just getting caught in a dragnet in some ways.

However, there are, as you know, people who do run advertisements for companies (or press releases, etc) as if they were original copy. There are blogs that accept payment for creating posts, etc. And I've been approached by companies asking me to do those kinds of things. In fact, I'd say I get a solicitation like that at least once each day.

In some ways the FTC has opened Pandora's box. The guidelines are vague enough to suggest that anyone who receives a review copy of a book should disclose that fact. Well, that's every newspaper and magazine reviewer in the country -- plus some bloggers. And the standards to which bloggers are to be held are HIGHER than the standards to which print media is held. That is crazy.

Ultimately, I hope that bloggers who continue to be clear about when they receive comps and freebies will be fine. It will be interesting to see!

Welcome back! If you haven't already, I hope you'll subscribe to my RSS feed so we can stay in touch. Ciao!


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