FTC Guidelines for Bloggers in effect today


I know there are people asking, “What do the new blogger rules mean to me?” The new regulations went into effect today. For the majority of bloggers, these won’t change anything in their blogging habits. Most blogs out there are personal journals where they talk about their life and daily habits.

These rules really affect bloggers who review and endorse products. They must now disclose they have a relationship and if they received payment for the endorsement. This includes products provided for free. I think for the most part that most bloggers disclose the fact they received products. Disclosure is something every blogger should be doing already, it’s the just like the saying “Honesty goes a long way”. No one likes to find out that they were mislead. They want to know if a person was paid for a favorable review or write up. Prime example is the AIMS post about Sony creating a blog that was supposed to be game players when it was two people posing as teens.

It’s been my experience if you’re open and honest people will respect your work. Especially, if you make a mistake or something goes wrong. If you have a reputation as an honest person already, people will view the misstep as a one time thing. While if you were not open it will cause people to loose trust in you and stop reading your blog. In this instance the “Its better to ask for forgiveness then permission” isn’t going to work in social media

I have read a few things on line about why the FTC is going after bloggers when the main stream media are not held to the same standards. The playing field should be level for all forms of media. There have also been rumors of court cases filed to challenge the constitutionality of the new rules.  I will update here and twitter as I find out more about the rules and what happens with them.

Tim is the founder of Element33. A social media agency specializing in education, management and strategy for small businesses. He comes from a traditional marketing agency but has embraced all things digital. He considers himself a marketing nerd and believes that all marketing is tied together. This means no matter what silo you are in, social, email, seach, etc, changes in one will affect the other!

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