New Federal Trade Commission Guidelines For Endorsements By Bloggers

This week is the first I learned about Federal Trade Commission attacks bloggers – fines up to 11K. Cassandra Yorgey writes:   Today the Federal Trade Commission posted some new Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials by bloggers and other internet mediums. For those that don’t want to read the full 81 page document, let me sum it up for you. If you say anything nice about a product or service anywhere on the internet, you better disclose exactly how you are connected to that company/individual… or you can face fines up to $11,000. Even if you are an unpaid-just-for-fun-in-my-own-little-corner-of-the-internet dabbler of all things digital who only talks to people you know in real life.
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Andrea: This doesn’t apply to my blogging since no one has ever compensated me for endorsement. However, this is good information to keep in mind.  Especially since lots of people I know blog.

I especially like John Chow’s Disclosure Policy below:

To comply with the recent FTC ruling (not that I have to since this blog is not based in the USA) over bloggers getting paid to write stuff, I offer the following disclosure policy. If you’re reading my blog, you should assume the following:

* I make money from every post I put on this blog. If I’m not making money from every blog post, then it was an oversight on my part and it will be corrected soon.
* Every link on this blog is a paid link. If it is not a paid link, then it was an oversight on my part and it will become a paid link soon.
* Every product I write about on this blog, I get for free. If I didn’t get it for free, then there was a miss-communication with the company that sent it and I will be billing them for the cost so the product becomes free.
* I make money from every tweet I send out on Twitter. If I didn’t make money on the tweet, then it was an oversight on my part and it will be corrected soon.
* If you email me, all of the information in your email is mine to do with as I please, such as exploit for financial profit, use as blackmail, or quote on my blog.
* The T-shirts you see me wear at trade shows. I get paid to wear them. If I didn’t get paid to wear them, then it means I ran out of paid shirts and had to wear a free one. In which case, I will go to the company that gave me the free shirt and ask them to sponsor it.
* If something on the Net is making a lot of money, you can bet I will be in on it. If I’m not in on it, then it was an oversight on my part and it will be corrected soon.
* Just because I get paid to blog, tweet, wear T-shirts, etc. does NOT mean I will give you or your company a positive review, blog post or endorsement. As a matter of fact, chances are pretty high that I might slam you.

Hopefully, the above statement clears up any misunderstanding you may have about my blog posts or Twitter tweets. If you have any questions, you can contact me at my contact page. Just remember what I said about emails.

This disclosure policy was sponsored by Market Leverage and Clickbooth. Yes, I make money on my disclosure statement as well!

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