On October 5th, the FTC released new guidelines relating to disclosure of gifts or money paid to anyone that endorses a product. Under the new guidelines, which the FTC stressed today do not have the force of law, bloggers were concerned that they might have to list pages of disclosures or face stiff fines. Today, Mary Engle, associate director for advertising practices at the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, reassured bloggers that the FTC is not looking over their shoulder. The occasional freebie will not trigger a duty to disclose, but a steady stream of gifts might still require a blogger to make a disclosure when writing about a company or product. She went on to say that the FTC is looking at black and white cases, and “We’re not interested in playing gotcha in the gray areas”.
In the interests of full disclosure – nobody has given me a single darn thing, and I have such nice things to say about everyone. Where’s the love?