If you’re a blogger you’ve heard the news. The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) is setting guidelines for bloggers. Most bloggers are already adhering to the new rules, however, bloggers who were not must do so on or before December 1, 2009 to avoid sanctions and fines.
What does this mean to a Blogger?
- You must disclose any freebies you receive for reviews and/or posts.
- You must disclose any money received for reviews and/or posts.
- Blogger must include the typical results someone would expect to get from the product they are reviewing, even if it differs from their own experience.
- An atypical result, example, losing an extraordinary amount of weight with a diet pill or by playing the Wii, would require a “results not typical” clause in the post.
- If a person buys a product with their own money and praises it on their personal blog, it is not considered an endorsement.
As of yet, a set format has not been mandated. The only stipulation appears to be that bloggers place a “clear and conspicuous” notice on their blog. Ethical bloggers already post such a disclosure on their blogs, like the ones found on the bottom of my “Advertise” and “Support Us” pages. They also note when products or money are received for review in their individual posts.
Those who are not in compliance must make sure to follow the new guidelines on or before December 1, 2009. Any blogger who does not comply can be sanctioned and/or fined (up to $11,000 PER post!). The FTC has also stated that it will review each infringement on a case by case basis. Since the regulation is new, bloggers who do not adhere to these guidelines will most likely be given a warning before a fine is assessed.
If you’re a blogger or social media fiend, as I am, how do you feel about this? Let me know!
Click HERE to read the FTC guidelines in its entirety.
Click HERE for a brief synopsis from the FTC.
Psst this blog post is NOT a paid endorsement and I have NOT received any freebies to share this tidbit! Hey I figured I better play it safe right?
UPDATE: While attending the Blogalicious 2009 convention, I learned that free products given to a blogger do NOT have to be returned. Its a false rumor!