Friday, April 3, 2009

FTC and Bogus Blog Endorsements: Sounds Sensible

"Report: FTC to Crack Down on Blog Endorsements"
FOXNews (April 3, 2009)

"The Federal Trade Commission may be going after bloggers and Facebook users.

"Not just any bloggers or social networkers, mind you. Rather, the Financial Times reports, the government consumer watchdog will be cracking down on people who post false statements endorsing certain products — and the makers of those products as well...."

I don't particularly like regulations: but this seems to make sense. Lying about a product isn't, I think, particularly helpful to society as a whole: or to readers who don't have my, ah, heightened sense of caution. Or enthusiasm for due diligence. Or, maybe, paranoia.

What's important, of course, is what's in the details: exactly what the FTC says it will do - and what it actually does.

More: "Advertisers brace for online viral marketing curbs"
Financial Times (April 2, 2009)

"Advertisers in the US are bracing themselves for regulatory changes that they fear will curtail their efforts to tap into the fast-growing online social media phenomenon.

"Revised guidelines on endorsements and testimonials by the Federal Trade Commission, now under review and expected to be adopted, would hold companies liable for untruthful statements made by bloggers and users of social networking sites who receive samples of their products.

"If a blogger received a free sample of skin lotion and then incorrectly claimed the product cured eczema, the FTC could sue the company for making false or unsubstantiated statements. The blogger could be sued for making false representations.

" 'This impacts every industry and almost every single brand in our economy, and that trickles down into social media,' said Anthony DiResta, an attorney representing several advertising associations...."

I still don't see a problem: but then, I'm one of those naive people who won't extol the excellence of Slurm: even if given a case, fresh from the manufacturer.

5 comments:

Todd said...

see orson scott card's enders game.

Tessa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

Tessa /Ruth,

Thanks, but since I've seen this generic (and nice) comment with other pairs of names, and since Tessa / Ruth has a blank profile with one blog (Point Marketing): The comment has been deemed spam and deleted.

Ironic, that this comment was on a post about bogus blog endorsements and the need for some regulation.

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

Todd,

I read the original serialized novella version of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game.

I'm not clear on the connection: Are you saying that we should be preparing for an invasion of insectoids?

Probably not: but there don't seem to be clear parallels.

Tri Panel Folders said...

the Federal Trade Commission, a federal court has temporarily halted the deceptive advertising campaign and frozen the assets of an operation claiming its device can boost automobile gas mileage by at least 50 percent and “turn any vehicle into a hybrid

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