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FTC Rules to fine Bloggers up to $11,000

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has updated their rules to include a stiff penalty to bloggers (and even Twitterers/Tweeple) who do not disclose their interests with commercial products and/or services.

That means any recommendations by bloggers on products/services they feature on their blogs will be scrutinized if they do not disclose compensation. The “compensation” may be in cash or in kind. The “in kind” is not specified but may include free products, free meals, trips and hotel accommodations.

Under the revised Guides, advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her experience with a product or service as typical when that is not the case will be required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect.

Realme Philippines

The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long standing principle that “material connections” (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect – must be disclosed. These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other “word-of-mouth” marketers.

The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service. Likewise, if a company refers in an advertisement to the findings of a research organization that conducted research sponsored by the company, the advertisement must disclose the connection between the advertiser and the research organization. And a paid endorsement – like any other advertisement – is deceptive if it makes false or misleading claims.

This new rule will be in effect by December 1, 2009. Though this does not involve bloggers in the Philippines, it’s not improbable that the DTI might also do the same around here anytime soon.

More about the press release here.

Avatar for Abe Olandres

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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Erica
10 years ago

Why do they have to take part on everything? It’s not just. Bloggers should have the discretion whether to or not disclose items that are given to them by advertising companies.

Ghanima
10 years ago

It’s the taxes that are scary. I ever. Shouldn’t the government be happy that dollars are coming in into the country? Sus na lang… kung i-tax pa nila iyong 0.35 cents na nakuha ko sa adsense ewan ko na lang.

Walter
12 years ago

Let us find the hidden opportunity on this new development and take advantage of it rather than lamenting. :-)

ken
ken
12 years ago

saw this on aots kahapon. this rule is really vague.anything that tries to regulate the internet would really just end up…meh…i doubt if ntc or dit would follow…dito magreklamo ka ng internet fraud mabuti pang di kna nagreklamo kasi wala kang mapaala. hope this would stop those “you have a hottie next door locked and loaded to…you” pop ups. lol

JonatsGonats
12 years ago

I am sure, those people will find ways. They didn’t make so much money to be hindered by such rule. Affiliate marketing will just have to evolve, adapt, and take advantage of it.

Corporal Killjoy
Corporal Killjoy
12 years ago

This is a good reason to start-up a renegade underground blog. Regulating the internet like this makes me want to do the “forbidden” things even more. Oh and btw, Bayani Fernando is an a-hole

Calvin
12 years ago

i think sinasabi naman ni abe kung yung mga products na nirereview nya ay pinahiram or binigay sa kanya or binili nya.

hindi pa ba enough yung mga disclosure policy that other paid review services ask you to put in your site before joining them?

Darren
Darren
12 years ago

same thing happen here in Taiwan~

PC Domination
12 years ago

soon DTI might as well generate this kinds of laws here in philippines…

iamupset
iamupset
12 years ago

Unfortunately, unlike other media, bloggers/Twitter(s) are not bound by the same legality and regulations, hence the FTC ruling.

My main problem with this ruling is, it sounds a little vague and open to a lot of (mis)interpretation. Also, it seems to lack any teeth. Are there any implementation guidelines on this? How do they propose to monitor this or is it also case-to-case? This could end up as potential harrassment cases against them if they’re not clear about this.

Kung gagayahin to ng DTI, sana pag-aralan muna nila ng mabuti, di uubra yong basta gaya-gaya lang, like most of what they do.

wikus
12 years ago

Yung mga small fish muna, tapos saka nila titirahin yung mga big fish ahaha

Jhay
12 years ago

How is this different from guidelines that cover main stream media like newspapers and magazines?

Why single out bloggers/Twitterers?

a.cantos
12 years ago

sounds like many of us won’t like this. hehe.

BrianB
12 years ago

DTI? Why don’t they begin at the broadsheets.

Ark
Ark
12 years ago

lol I love Jollibee

bertsan531
12 years ago

how will this affect you mr. yuga? does this mean you will have to disclose everything you receive from companies/sponsors such as freebies for every product you mention,reviewed..also does it mean blogging is a form of advertisement which someday will be need to be taxed ..hehehehe..

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