The Federal Trade Commission in the US has recently released new guidelines for endorsements. That usually makes no ping online, but as it is, the FTC has added that bloggers are also to be regulated and have now a duty to disclose any “material” connections with the products they recommend. They now consider blogger’s opinions that recommend a product an endorsement and when the blogger has received a gift or payment in cash for the endorsement, he/she is obliged to disclose this fact.
I don’t personally think this is bad, as transparency helps build confidence and trust. Many bloggers are concerned that the FTC will commence regulating online endorsements much more seriously, but as Michele Cuthbert questions in her baker creative blog, “how much does the government have a right to regulate and how [far] should this go?”
My two cents, its good that the government steps in and begins regulating before things go out of proportion. My question here would be:
Who has the time and resources to be reviewing so many blogs?
Many bloggers already disclose that they are paid to endorse but remain honest and only endorse products they believe in. This new regulation really doesn’t affect much.
Here’s the FTC news release.