Wednesday, October 14, 2009

FTC Cracks Down on Blogs, Celebs

The Federal Trade Commission is modifying its policies to crack down on endorsements by bloggers and celebrities, as well as unrealistic advertisements. The current rules governing these fields have been on the books for almost 30 years, according to CNNMoney.

Slated for Dec. 1, the new policies will require bloggers to disclose any partnerships they have with advertisers, a rule which already exists for other types of product reviewers. This should be useful to consumers, since blog endorsements often seem like off-the-cuff praise on the part of the writer, when really the review is bought and paid for, often via free items from companies.

This news has many in the blogosphere worried, but the FTC insists it's not going to go after every tweet or casual post. The bloggers most likely to be targeted are the writers of established product review blogs, and then only after receiving a warning, according to the Associated Press.

The FTC will also require celebrities endorsing products to acknowledge their association with advertisers. This applies to celebrities pimping products on talk shows, blogs, and social networking sites.

And if you're sick of seeing "results not typical" on the bottom of the screen during commercials, the FTC has got you covered. Advertisers are now required to explain what results are typical for consumers.

The FTC's policies are technically guidelines, so advertisers who ignore them will not be breaking the law, but they could wind up getting sued or fined.
What do you think of these new rules? How will they affect the blogosphere?


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