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FRC regulation changes affect some bloggers

  1. It’s been nearly 30 years since the Federal Trade Commission updated its guidelines for marketers and advertisers, and the agency is looking at revising the guidelines so that those who promote or review products follow the laws governing truth in advertising. The new rules are designed to bring greater truth and disclosure to blogs, TV ads relying on testimonials and social media.

    8 types of sponsored conversations that require disclosure :

    1. Access: bloggers given access to companies, behind the scenes looks, etc. that the everyday citizen would not get.

    2. Incentive: discounts for products, travel, etc.

    3. Thank You: Brand sponsors a post or blog and the blog publishes a thank you.

    4. Product Demo: Bloggers are allowed to demo unreleased products, or released products without paying for them.

    5. Advertorial: An editorial functioning as an ad for a product or service.

    6. Paid Reviews

    7. Junket

    8. Payola: get paid to write about something.

    Some other factors the FTC uses to identify sponsored posts/blogs (endorsements):

    1. Length of relationship with advertiser

    2. Receipt of similar goods from same or similar companies

    3. Value (how much is endorsement worth-car vs. $50 gist certificate)

    All of these types of posts would require disclosure as sponsored posts under new FTC guidelines.

    The FTC 81 page download on their web site outlines the new rule changes and examples that describe your obligations.

    Blogger Disclosure - You can generate your own disclosure policy free of charge at

    The blog I need help with is

  2. Very informative thank you for passing on your insightful knowledge.

  3. You're welcome. :)

  4. Whilst informative, I believe this content would be better on your blog, as opposed to spamming the forums.

  5. @christophertravels
    This is the off-topic forum and my post is appropriately posted in it.

    I have, of course, blogged about this but as it's been 30 years since the FTC has changed their regulations, and as this is the first time those regulations will be applied to bloggers, I chose to get the word out by using this off-topic forum to do so, without including the link to the post my own blog.

    As a user who has answered over 7,000 support questions on the technical support forum before there even was an off-topic forum , and long before you became registered here, I find you remark to be both arrogant and ignorant in the extreme.

    I suggest that in the future you think before you comment, lest a longtime blogger like myself take you on and publicly shame you for resembling a braying jackass.

  6. Arrogant maybe but Ignorant perhaps not so much, granted you have been on these forums longer than I, however I do not believe that it makes you better than anyone else here.

    Kudos on the 7000+ answers, I know I have learnt a great deal from your support replies, to be honest I have learnt a lot from your blog, which I find quite well written and informative. This aside I do not believe that I am "resembling a braying jackass", as you so eloquently put it, simply for pointing out what has been said on this forum before.

    As I understand a forum is not a blog, you have one of those already.

    If I offended you then that is unfortunate, but I stand by what I said.

  7. FTC regulations do not apply to bloggers who do not reside in, or derive income from, the United States, because they do not have to file taxes in the US.

  8. pornstarbabylon

    Unless the product they are trying to sell is medical or something that could hurt their audience, then they shouldn't be allowed to sell it on their blog. But if we could profit here and if someone paid me to review a book or movie, then I feel I should be allowed to without the government tell me otherwise.

  9. @pornstarbabylon
    This is NOT about the government preventing anyone from profiting. This is about transparency ie. consumer protection regulations already in place elsewhere being extended to bloggers too.

    Specifically it's about posting a disclosure notice if and when when you are being paid or remunerated in cash or in kind (see all 8 points above) to publish a blog post that amounts to an endorsement of a product or service, or a review of a product or service, or providing a published testimonial, etc. in a post.

    The new regulations amount to requiring said bloggers (see description above) to post a disclosure notice on theirr blog so their readers will be made aware that they did receive some form of payment for publishing the said product endorsement, review, testimony, etc. on their blog.

  10. flowergardengirl

    This does apply to me and I've had to deal with it by adding a disclosure statement to my blog. I get plants and gardening products all the time to trial in my garden and then writ about it on my blog. Most of the time I come right out and tell people that it was free but on the occasion I forget---I don't want to be nailed.

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