The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just announced that the agency is going to fine bloggers up to $ 11,000 if a blogger posts a review, endorsement, etc. without disclosing the fact that he/she was compensated to do so. The FTC hasn’t updated this policy since 1980 (yep, Olivia Newton John was singing Magic on the radio.) but, for some reason, FTC decision makers decided that now’s a great time to step up the policing of bloggers.
So, we have countless bloggers trying earn a little extra money by doing paid reviews, and the FTC wants to clamp down now, during the worse recession since the Great Depression? I really don’t have a problem with them updating their policy, but to get fined up to $ 11,000 is simply draconian. How much does the FTC think bloggers get paid to write reviews anyway?
I don’t do paid reviews, but since this recession has hurt my income considerably, I was contemplating jumping into the review game (I have 16 blogs and counting.) Not sure now. I don’t mind starting a post with, “I was asked to review XYZ Widgets…” but it seems that the FTC wants me to post something like “Disclaimer: I was paid $ 56.75 to review this product…” which is just too cheesy.
I once accepted $ 20 to let someone post an informative article in this blog. The author was simply interested in getting quality links from quality sites. It was a well written article, so I didn’t mind. I didn’t contribute anything to the piece. Could I get in trouble for that? Hmmm….
For more on this story, click here.
To read the official FTC press release, click here.
Of course, your comments are welcome.