The Federal Trade Commission recently issued a factsheet in response to questions it received about its revised guidelines requiring disclosure of compensated endorsements.
As I've explained in detail in prior posts, the Commission revised the guidelines last year for the first time since 1980, with a particular emphasis on endorsements by bloggers and other online citizen journalists who do not disclose that the products or services they review were provided to them for free or at a discount. Despite a number of questionable incidents since the FTC issued its revised guidelines, it has taken only one public action under the revised rules: sending a letter in April to Ann Taylor Loft raising concerns about a promotion the clothing company ran for bloggers and warning the company not to undertake any similar campaigns.
The FTC's new factsheet states that "since the FTC issued the revised Guides, advertisers, ad agencies, bloggers, and others have sent questions to firstname.lastname@example.org," and offers what it says are "answers to some of the most frequently asked questions." But the factsheet also seems to be responding to criticims of the rules, by myself and others. read more »