Let’s see. Oxford Press sent me a review copy of Bill Patry’s new book (I should get around to reading it). A law firm marketing company sent me a book about law firm marketing, then asked me to plug one of their seminars, which I didn’t. MR HAPPY CRACK sent me a MR HAPPY CRACK mouse pad after I posted something about them. The YANKEE HATER guy sent me a YANKEE HATER hat after I posted something about him. I’m pretty sure that’s it for free stuff in seven years of blogging, which is pathetic.
I get asked to post about various services with a stated or implied quid-for-quo, which I never agree to. I only plug blogs or services when nothing in return is offered (what is wrong with me). I don’t accept advertising. It’s not that I can’t be bought, I just haven’t received the right offer.
I do post items about clients or colleagues with whom I do business and don’t always disclose the relationship, usually because I don’t think I’m impliedly endorsing anyone or anything by reporting on something without comment.
Which brings me to today’s topic: FTC to Rule Blogs Must Disclose Gifts or Pay For Reviews:
On Monday, the F.T.C. said it would revise rules about endorsements and testimonials in advertising that had been in place since 1980. The new regulations are aimed at the rapidly shifting new-media world and how advertisers are using bloggers and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to pitch their wares.
The F.T.C. said that beginning on Dec. 1, bloggers who review products must disclose any connection with advertisers, including, in most cases, the receipt of free products and whether or not they were paid in any way by advertisers, as occurs frequently. The new rules also take aim at celebrities, who will now need to disclose any ties to companies, should they promote products on a talk show or on Twitter.