AdAge reports this old news (which has been sent to me by enough people that I have to comment)
“Thinking about letting a big-name blogger test-drive your new hybrid in the hope he’ll post a glowing review about it, or maybe sending some beverage products to an influencer, hoping she’ll spread the word?
“You might have to think twice, if the Federal Trade Commission follows through with its proposed plan to start regulating viral marketing and blogs.”
Libertarian sensibilities and First Amendment misgivings aside, I’d support a truth-in-blogging disclosure policy. I’m sickened by the ongoing”twilight of objectivity” as the traditional press fades away, and the online replacements — from review sites gamed by business owners, to payola agencies that build buzz for a fee — aren’t stepping in with any kind of ethical compass.
Those who play it straight will have no problem. I just want to make sure when I see someone raving about a product or service that I know the terms on how they came to try it. If they bought it themselves, all the better. If they took a test drive or loaner — then tell me. If they cashed a check for the “review” — they better disclose or I hope both them and the writers of the check get whacked for the deception.