FTC to Create Blogger Transparency

Published October 5, 2009 by

Categories: The business of marketing, Web and UX trends

wolfsheep2Going into effect Dec. 1, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will require bloggers to disclose any compensation they receive from companies in exchange for reviewing products on their blogs.

This comes about in response to the growing practice of marketers soliciting popular bloggers to endorse their products for payment or freebies.

Up until now this practice has been like the fabled wolf hidden in sheep’s clothing. Essentially, marketers use bloggers to advertise their products under the guise of being unendorsed ‘user-generated content,’ when in reality it is basically paid advertising just like banner ads and text ads in the SERPs.

This is the first time the commission has revised its guidelines on endorsements and testimonials in almost 30 years. With the origins of the content available for all to see, it will be interesting to see how this affects the blogging community. Will it reduce blogger credibility? Or reduce the practice of paid blog content altogether?

Comments

  • How about those who post- acting like customers - when they are really part of the compensation change. Is there any regulation on them to disclose?
    by: Don Jones on 2009-10-05 17:21:31
  • According to the revised FTC Guidelines, "advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her experience with a product or service as typical when that is not the case will be required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect. In contrast to the 1980 version of the Guides – which allowed advertisers to describe unusual results in a testimonial as long as they included a disclaimer such as “results not typical” – the revised Guides no longer contain this safe harbor." ...so I would interpret this to believe that the guidelines are intended to prevent such practices, but whether or not they will be successful at completely preventing them is yet to be seen. To read the entire article visit: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2009/10/ftc-publishes-final-guides-governing-endorsements-testimonials
    by: Maggie @ LoSasso on 2009-10-07 09:40:03

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