Has blogging became such a profitable business that the FTC is now paying attention as to whether bloggers are getting paid for reviewing products? According to an Associate Press report, the FTC will soon be issuing guidelines stating that the FTC could go after bloggers for failing to disclose that they are being paid for product/service reviews. Now, I’m scared.
But wait, I’m not being paid for my reviews when I write how great the iPhone is? Or how I love the Eee PC netbook? Will the FTC go after me? Apparently the report says yes. But that is if I don’t disclose that I am actually doing a paid review. Paid review means, getting any form of compensation in exchange for reviewing a product or service.
In addition, once the guidelines are approved, the FTC can ask a blogger to stop writing and pay restitution damages to customers. Worst, the FTC can even ask the Justice Department to sue bloggers for civil penalties.
Now, here’s the best clincher – the said guidelines will also cover affiliate marketing. As this entails promotion of a product which could lead a consumer to purchase the product by clicking on the links displayed by affiliate marketers on their sites.
Again another “but wait”, how about online ad publishing programs such as Google AdSense? It is similar to affiliate marketing, right?
Oh well, it’s a good thing I’m not in the U.S. as the FTC ruling would not apply to me.
If you want to read more about this report, here’s the link.