The Federal Trade Commission has reached a second settlement with a marketer over apparent violations of the Commission's rules requiring disclosure of compensated endorsements, particularly on blogs and social media, as well as other contexts in which the compensation (which may include free samples or discounts) is not "reasonably expected by the audience."
Back in April, the Commission sent a letter 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 Commision declined to undertake any enforcement action in that case because it was the firm's first apparent violation, only a very small number of bloggers posted content as a result of the promotion, and the company adopted a written policy in February 2010 stating that it would not issue any gifts to bloggers without first telling the bloggers that the gift must be disclosed.
Now, the Commission has reached a settlement with Reverb Communications, a public relations firm, which the FTC alleged had employees and interns post positive reviews on Apple's iTunes store for games produced by Reverb clients. According to the FTC complaint, read more »