Monday, October 05, 2009

FTC to crack down on product endorsements by bloggers

The AP reported on 5 Oct 09: 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.

See previous IPBiz post
What "The Beatles: Rock Band" teaches about innovation
including the text:

In an earlier IPBiz post, there were some instructions on "what to check for" in a review of a product, and one thing was whether the reviewer got the product to be reviewed for free.

And, from faking good breeding:

Many, if not most, fashion and beauty blogs spend most of their time recommending products, often with no thought to the price or the likelihood that their readers could afford them. With beauty products, many bloggers get products for free from companies, so it's not as if they have to go to the store and pick up a $200 eye cream to review each day.

I realize that these bloggers don't expect their readers to buy every product they recommend, but after reading these raving reviews day after day, it's hard to resist believing that these luxury items aren't the norm. You begin to feel like you're the only one who hasn't tried the product, and the encouragements from other readers that it's "totally worth the price" certainly don't help your resolve to stick to a budget.

And, from NPR on blog-ola:

BRAND: So, I guess the FTC might investigate mommy bloggers.

GALLAGA: Yeah, and the issue seems to be disclosure. If you go to a site you find on a Google search, for instance, you know, is that site legitimately reviewing products or are they being paid for it? Or are they getting free products in exchange for positive reviews? I did a story on mommy bloggers recently, and a lot of the bloggers I talked to definitely, openly admit that they only post positive reviews. They tend not to focus on the negative, and they are getting free products.

BRAND: Okay, but these mommy blogs - they started off a little bit differently, right? These were basically confessional, almost diary-type blogs where moms were just trying to connect with other moms online and find some kind of community and express what was going on.


Post a Comment

<< Home