Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bloggers, Disclosure, and the FTC

Balance Scale Pictures, Images and Photos

The blogosphere seems to be abuzz with the news that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided to regulate bloggers. They say 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."

The Federal Trade Commission will try to regulate blogging for the first time, requiring writers on the Web to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products.

The FTC said Monday its commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the final Web guidelines, which had been expected. Violating the rules, which take effect Dec. 1, could bring fines up to $11,000 per violation. Bloggers or advertisers also could face injunctions and be ordered to reimburse consumers for financial losses stemming from inappropriate product reviews. (source)

You may have noticed that my product review posts have started to include a disclosure statement. I've also updated my disclosure policy, and it's linked from my left sidebar. If you have any questions, please let me know.

For me, the bottom line is this: I seek to act with integrity in everything. My reviews always include what I like and what I don't like about a product. I try to share details to help you make your own decision about a product or service. I'm not a professional product tester; I'm just a mom.

For more information on the FTC decision, refer to the FTC news release.


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