FTC to Regulate Blogging
In addition to the increasing amount of states trying to tax affiliates and internet companies, we now have the FTC coming into the game and trying to regulate blogging. More than anything else, the regulation consists of making bloggers disclose any free gifts, payments or anything they receive as a result from writing about a company or product.
Here is a short snippet from the full article available at FoxNews.
The FTC said Monday its commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the final Web guidelines, which had been expected. Violating the rules, which take effect Dec. 1, could bring fines up to $11,000 per violation. Bloggers or advertisers also could face injunctions and be ordered to reimburse consumers for financial losses stemming from inappropriate product reviews.
The commission stopped short of specifying how bloggers must disclose conflicts of interest. Rich Cleland, assistant director of the FTC’s advertising practices division, said the disclosure must be “clear and conspicuous,” no matter what form it will take.
With the FTC and state attorney generals recently cracking down on fake blogs, fake testimonials and customer complaints from rebill offers… thinking the FTC will stop any time soon after just trying to “regulate blogging” is wishful thinking.
The article also states “FTC will more likely go after an advertiser instead of a blogger for violations“. PayPerPost ran into these same issues when they first came out, but now require full disclosure on all sponsored posts. This is one concept where you are clear, but the new regulation will bring forth a lot more questions. For example, how this will affect affiliate marketing blogs? Not only “make money online” blogs, but how will specific blogs created just to drive product sales be affected? Full disclosure would need to be posted somewhere on the blog post or web site stating you will receive a commission for any sales generated from your site.
The regulation does not go into effect until December 1st, and still lacks a lot of specifics and information we would all like to know.
How will the FTC regulating blogging effect affiliate markerting, if at all?
Wait... before you leave, consider these top resources: