Monday, October 5, 2009

FTC to Require Bloggers to Disclose Payments for Reviews

*Soapbox* (Paraben free, of course) Not pointing a finger at any single person, but one of the reasons I stopped watching hauls and reviews on You Tube is that I know a majority of them are reviewing products they were given for free by the manufacturer. I have no issue with that - as long as they explicity say that 'X provided these products at no cost for me to review'. That is frequently not the case.

All of the products I review on this site are paid for out of my own pocket. Sometimes my postings are pretty thin because I just didn't have the money to spend on new goodies. As I have said in previous posts, I don't accept freebies or sample products because I don't feel I can fairly assess something that has been given to me. There is always the expectation of a favorable response and that I will encourage others to purchase. I feel bad for turning down some very nice people, but I want to keep my blog independent. That's the way I roll.

I don't know how this will shake out in the blogging and You Tube community, but I can say it's about darned time! Read the FTC long version below. Celebrity spokespeople can now be held liable for unsubstantiated product claims. Is this the death of the celebrity infomercial?

Here's the FTC long version: FTC Press Release


PHILADELPHIA -

The Federal Trade Commission will require bloggers to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products.

It is the first time since 1980 that the commission has revised its guidelines on endorsements and testimonials, and the first time the rules have covered bloggers.

But the commission stopped short Monday of specifying how bloggers must disclose any conflicts of interest.

The FTC said its commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the final guidelines, which had been expected. Penalties include up to $11,000 in fines per violation.

The rules take effect Dec. 1.

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