Conspiracy theorists will say that the FTC is paying back the mainstream media for all its one-sided ‘reporting’.  How better to help your friends in the media than to issue “guidelines” that require your competitors to jump through hoops that you are not required to negotiate?  What on earth am I talking about?

Monday, the FTC issued guidelines for disclosure requirements for product reviewers.  In short, the guidelines say that bloggers who receive free product to review it must disclose that fact.  A mainstream media ‘journalist’ need not reveal the free gift.  For a more complete article, go to: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=114860

honest_product_reviews_blogI am trying my best to understand the FTC’s conclusion that a gift would materially effect the impartiality of the blogger but not the ‘journalist’.  Can anyone explain the logic to me?  Oh, by the way, the FTC did conclude that if you buy a product or service, with your own money, and write a product review on line, you will not be considered to be providing an endorsement.  Whew.  I thought maybe the FTC was going to repeal the 1st amendment.

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