For the first time since 1980, the FTC has updated its rules about endorsements and testimonials, and they’ve added blogging to the books. Now bloggers who don’t disclose that they’ve been somehow compensated—either with cash or with free services or products—can be fined up to $11,000.
“The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long standing principle that “material connections” (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect – must be disclosed. These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other “word-of-mouth” marketers. The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement.”
“FTC to Fine Bloggers up to $11,000 for Not Disclosing Payments” [Mashable via mack005]