It’s been nearly 30 years since the Federal Trade Commission updated its guidelines for marketers and advertisers, and the agency is looking at revising the guidelines so that those who promote or review products follow the laws governing truth in advertising. The new rules are designed to bring greater truth and disclosure to blogs, TV ads relying on testimonials and social media.
The updated guide has garnered the most press for its ruling that bloggers can be fined up to $11,000 if they don’t disclose that they got cash or products for posting a testimonial. While most bloggers and respected word-of-mouth marketing firms have required this disclosure, the ruling and its large penalty should help consumers trust online reviews. — Josh Smith in Results aren’t typical: FTC bringing truth to testimonials
The main concern is “transparency” ie. bloggers clearly declaring their relationship with their sponsors, and disclosing to their readers that they were compensated for the review when they are in receipt of a free product in exchange for their testimonial, or received some other kind of benefit.
As of December 1, the Federal Trade Commission is going to require bloggers, and prominent tweeters and Facebook types to disclose any paid endorsements to their followers, online friends and readers. These new rules have the potential to change everyone’s online habits. Here’s what you need to know –FTC’s New Rules for Bloggers: A Quick Guide
The FTC 81 page download on their web site outlines the new rule changes and examples that describe your obligations.
Blogger Disclosure – You can generate your own disclosure policy free of charge at disclosurepolicy.org