Black Web 2.0
5 Easy Ways for Bloggers To Stay Out of Hot Water With The FTC
Dec 3, 2009 Aug 20, 2013

Previously I wrote a post about the "proposed" Federal Trade Commission Rules on Blogger Product Endorsements. Basically, the FTC was considering whether to require bloggers to disclose any financial relationship between themselves and brands whom products they endorse.
Well those proposed rules are now a reality. The FTC has established new rules on Blogger Product Endorsements and Disclosure which became effective on December 1.  I have provided a summary of the rules below:


Bloggers must disclose if they receive a financial benefit when writing a post about a product or service.   A financial benefit can be monetary compensation or complimentary products or services.  The FTC views this transaction as an endorsement of the product or service.
Disclosure can be a banner above the post or part of the review.
Disclosure must be clear and direct.
Bloggers should not make any claims regarding a product or services that is not substantiated by credible evidence.  In other words, if the product or services does not perform as it is advertised, do not embellish the truth.
If there is no disclosure, FTC may send a Cease and Desist. If Cease and Desist is violated or ignored, then blogger can receive a 11K fine.


Although, the rules have been established, the FTC has admitted that they will not actively pursue bloggers. Most likely, the FTC will only pursue clear rampant violations and those will most likely be the result of a tip from a concerned consumer.
Hopefully the new rules will encourage bloggers to be as transparent as possible regarding product reviews. Transparency allows consumers to make informed buying decisions.  More importantly it is just good business practice.