Federal Trade Commission is moving to regulate social-media advertising. The FTC is planning to hold marketers liable for false statements published on blogs and social networks—meaning companies or Bloggers could get sued for saying a product was good if it really wasn’t.
In other words, if you were paid to write a review, or got a product for free, or use an affiliate link in your post, you need to tell your readers. New guidelines would clarify that the agency can go after Bloggers — as well as the companies that compensate them — for any false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest.
However, to comply with FTC regulations I did adjust my note on the sidebar to reflect that some publishers and authors do send me ARCs to review. I don’t get compensated/paid to do them. I do have quite a few unsolicited books sent to me. Just because they’re sent, and they’re free, doesn’t guarantee a review, either positive or negative. I don’t charge a fee to people to read my blog, via a subscription.
Everything I’ve read on the FTC guidelines tells me 99% of Bloggers have no worries about the FTC. It’s those Bloggers that get paid for the reviews of products, whether it’s makeup, spas, lotions, appliances, or books. Endorsements, if you will. I have no conflicts as I’m not paid exclusively by any publisher to review their books, or by Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Borders.
My blog, although well read, and this past week I celebrated having hundred followers in less than a year, is really small potatoes in the blogosphere. There are articles that have brought in 400 plus readers in a day, and others that only bring in 200. Still small when you compare it to the likes of Smart Bitches or Nathan Bransford, who can get that many comments, much less readers.
It’s been fun reading/researching various blogs that have commented on the FTC rules. Some are crying the sky is falling others are going big deal. Most I’ve read are either highly informative or funny as hell to read. I was referred to one of the latter by a friend of mine, Disclosure – The Full Monty Tim Ferris has some cute cartoons for the busy blogger to use as disclosures. I thought I’d share a few of them. They cracked me up.
- Alas, I really have no use for them, darn it. Do you?
...if the male cover models were available...maybe.
Cartoons courtesy of Tim Ferris. See link above.