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Unread 5th October 2009, 10:46 PM
Olin Coles's Avatar
Olin Coles Olin Coles is offline
Executive Editor
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,951
Bloggers Must Soon Disclose Advertiser Relationships

On Monday, the F.T.C. said it would revise rules about endorsements and testimonials in advertising that had been in place since 1980. The new regulations are aimed at the rapidly shifting new-media world and how advertisers are using bloggers and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to pitch their wares.

The F.T.C. said that beginning on Dec. 1, bloggers who review products must disclose any connection with advertisers, including, in most cases, the receipt of free products and whether or not they were paid in any way by advertisers, as occurs frequently. The new rules also take aim at celebrities, who will now need to disclose any ties to companies, should they promote products on a talk show or on Twitter. A second major change, which was not aimed specifically at bloggers or social media, was to eliminate the ability of advertisers to gush about results that differ from what is typical - for instance, from a weight loss supplement.

For bloggers who review products, this means that the days of an unimpeded flow of giveaways may be over. More broadly, the move suggests that the government is intent on bringing to bear on the Internet the same sorts of regulations that have governed other forms of media, like television or print. NewYorkTimes

EDITOR'S NOTE: Benchmark Reviews already offers full public disclosure regarding our product reviews and advertiser relationship. Regardless of how a sample is provided to us, we do our very best to ensure an unbiased report.
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