FTC Blogger Ruling.. Blogger Must Disclose Freebies and Payments

So as of December 1st this rule goes into effect.

The whole article is here: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/FTC-Bloggers-testimonials-apf-468964868.html?x=0

but the gist of it is that we must disclose the things we get for free for reviews..

I’ve had it listed on my site for well over a year now that any products received for review are my property, but not in the reviews themselves. I’ve got a separate page on my site that mentions How We Test Etc and it’s listed right there…

I can say that I’ve never been paid by a company to review their product, I’ve been asked yes, but I’ve said no because it could lead to a bias towards the company… I don’t want the company thinking that if they pay me then they’ll get a good review. The point of the review is to be objective and honest, to let people know what’s good and bad about the product and of course toss your own personal opinions in there as well.

I don’t think getting the product for review and keeping it is considered something under these guidelines really..

I mean I get products for review to test them, and sometimes testing requires taking them apart, and actually destroying them.

I personally prefer to get products to keep, mainly because if it’s a loaner product then I’ll be held responsible and have to pay for it if something happens to it while it’s in my possession.. I man I’ve got three kids and well, accidents happen.

Getting and keeping the product for review isn’t really a perk in my opinion, it’s part of the job, you need the product to do the reviews.. well ok maybe it is a perk, but it’s still part of the job plain and simple and I don’t consider it a bribe or payment for the review, it’s what it is, you need the product to do the review.

Now I can see how this applies to those that receive gifts after the review, or special things from the company, but I’ve never never got those kinds of things so I can’t really comment on it…

I can see a problem coming for those companies like ReviewMe and SponsoredReviews that pay for reviews… some of them actually mention NOT to say that you are being paid for the review, and in my opinion that is plain wrong and has always been…

All I can say it’s going to be interesting to see how this splays out..

it’s a shame that a few bloggers/reviewers spoil it for others that do it honestly like I/We do on the sites I write for..

I’ve noticed that if I review something and my results differ then I’m accused of being paid for the review, but it’s just not true, I’m reporting my opinion and my experiences with the product. Those that have been caught getting bribes or being paid for a review have spoiled it for the rest of us that try and be honest… I’ve never been paid by a company to review their product, nor have I ever received any other compensation from a company besides the actual product being reviewed, but again you need the product for the review…

Oh well, we’ll see…

  1 comment for “FTC Blogger Ruling.. Blogger Must Disclose Freebies and Payments

  1. NetBet
    October 16, 2009 at 11:05 am

    I absolutely agree with you. It’s necessary for ordinary people to get detailed and honest description of a new product based on unbiased and professional opinion. But it is really difficult or even impossible for a customer to determine if the review is made by an independent person or someone who has been paid for writing a positive review. And nobody is sure to find it out if you’re paid for reviewing or not.

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