October 5, 2009

FTC is regulating blogger endorsements.

Disclosure requirements. Blech.
These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other "word-of-mouth" marketers. The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service.
Much more at the link. I think this is all stuff that I wouldn't be doing in the first place. If anything, I'd blog about getting the stuff and not review it.

20 comments:

Robert said...

The consumers are saved at last. Thank God for the Federal government.

Dogwood said...

Is this even constitutional? Are such disclosure requirements in place for television, radio or newspapers?

Lots of book reviews, movie reviews, consumer appliance reviews, car reviews published everyday in print media, but do those writers have to disclose the free books, movie tickets, endorsements, etc., etc.?

Just don't see how something like this could stand, legally.

daubiere said...

fuck the feds

AJ Lynch said...

My pet radio peeve is when the commercial is a seamless segue by the show host right from his show.

I don't mind this during baseball games or other sporting events for some reason.

But like what Daubieer said..don't they have f-ing better things to do? No wonder our govt costs so much money!

MadisonMan said...

Does anyone here doubt that any person reviewing anything has received the item for free?

Joan said...

I reviewed a bunch of stuff on Epinions years ago, and never received a single thing for free.

OTOH, I wrote some book reviews for ForewordReviews.com and I did get those books for free, but they were worth what I paid for them.

I have two thoughts on this regulation - first, it doesn't sound constitutional to me, and second, why are we going to pay to enforce this? Wouldn't we all rather spend that money some other, more productive, less intrusive way?

Seven Machos said...

Another in the long list of Obama's accomplishments.

rhhardin said...

The point is always more regulation.

4. Laws of Growth: Systems tend to grow, and as they grow, they encroach.

blake said...

My outrage subsystems are completely on the fritz.

You could tell me McCain and Obama engage in frequent baby eating and I'd say, "Yeah, they'll do that."

BJM said...

This is just the camel's nose. Will blogging licenses be next? Taxes on domain reg and bandwidth consumption? Diversity content rules?

The EU must be salivating over the taxes ICANN will bring to their coffers and the comeuppance delivered to Americans will simply be le ganache sur le g√Ęteau.


We knew this day was coming since 1992. Oh well, teh free Internets had a damned good run.

Joe said...

Screw em. Seriously, you should start endorsing shit and then sue the fuck out of the federal government when they attempt to regulate speech.

It really is about time the FTC is shoved off a cliff. They passed their usefulness a long time ago and now are just doing shit to justify their existence.

Ric Locke said...

Well, I'm not sure. You ought to Google up an outfit called "oDesk" and peruse the job opportunities. One of the commonest is to get paid for faux blogging, shilling for various products and/or services for $1/300 words.

Regards,
Ric

Dogwood said...

You ought to Google up an outfit called "oDesk"

I'm aware of those types of companies, but such blogs tend to be fairly obvious and thus tend to lack credibility.

This FTC action is a solution in search of a problem.

Steven said...

I'd like to endorse the Ginsu knife. It's really, really good at decapitating FTC bureaucrats.

Skyler said...

Nothing works so good that the government can't think of a way to screw it up.

Revenant said...

Another in the long list of Obama's accomplishments.

This ruling was made by Bush appointees.

Hector Owen said...

Rev: The Chairman is a Democrat, and the others can feel the direction of the wind.

CNET: New FTC guidelines extend to Facebook fan pages, and Twitter.

Told you. Too much free speech, all over the place. Can't have just anybody saying just anything. And with control of ICANN going to some international body, it won't just be Cass Sunstein and the FTC telling you what you can say online, it will be Qadaffi and Ahmadinejad.

GWB should have vetoed the McCain-Feingold CFRA. He thought SCOTUS would strike it down, and shirked his reponsibility. SCOTUS did not strike it down, thereby amending the First Amendment by extra-constitutional means. Now the door is open to further restraints on speech, or, in our case, writing. All this freedom could not last forever. There's always someone who wants to silence someone else. The trick is to keep the former out of power.

Not all at once, little by little, but: They can stop the signal.

Methadras said...

What a cheap and feeble attempt at Truth in Advertising legislature. Way to go .gov, you fucked it up again.

miller said...

Just remember - Health Care is a right, but Free Speech is a privilege.

You people and your inalienable rights! So 18th Century.

former law student said...

People should know to watch out for shills, right? On one of those review sites, a friend of mine carefully praises his inlaws' business. "I'd never go anywhere else," sez he. And why would he, when he gets the son-in-law discount?