The FTC and Me

If you haven’t heard about the Federal Trade Commission’s plans to monitor blogs, read the Associated Press story here. The gist is that this summer the FTC plans to approve new guidelines that would clarify the agency’s ability to go after bloggers who are paid or given freebies to review products and don’t disclose that their reviews may have been influenced. The logistics of doing so in the Wild West of blogging is lost on me.

What does this mean for Digital Mom? Nothing today. I don’t get paid nor do I get freebies, and I don’t run affiliate ads on my blog – where you click though my blog to get to Amazon and I get some pennies. If I did get paid, the ethics I hold as a professional journalist and preserving my reputation as a professional would compel me to disclose.

Regardless of how it all pans out for bloggers, it’s a good wake up call to blog readers. It’s always¬† important to read everything with a critical eye and to consider the source of your information — online or off.

About Melissa W. Sais

I am a freelance writer, copywriter, ghostwriter and blogger. Contact me for your next creative project.
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4 Responses to The FTC and Me

  1. Jeanette says:

    Yeah, I’ve been following this blog that features cute baby stuff. It didn’t take me too long to figure out that these people are probably getting freebies or maybe even money from these companies to feature their stuff. I keep going to the blog though, because I really like the stuff they feature, even if their intentions may or may not be pure and ethical.

    • Melissa Sais says:

      Awareness is key. I don’t think we can expect the FTC to take care of it all for us. We’ve got to pay attention too.

  2. Jenn says:

    Interesting. I hadn’t really thought of this before. The only other blog I follow regularly often features merchandise but they have always said they are getting these items as freebies to test and “rate”. And I take that for exactly as it is, they are getting the freebies, and usually the reviews are pretty good. But I’ve never really considered the ramifications of them featuring products like that. Hmm…thanks for the eye opener, Melissa.

  3. Hmmm. I just reviewed a book I got for free. But being me, I wouldn’t give anything a positive review unless it deserved it — free or not.

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