OK, have to break a rule here: I don’t typically regurgitate a news item here that originates elsewhere on the web – I just provide a link. But this is pretty big news for us Civil War bloggers, many of who review books regularly.
FTC: Bloggers must disclose payments for reviews
PHILADELPHIA — The Federal Trade Commission will require bloggers to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products.
It is the first time since 1980 that the commission has revised its guidelines on endorsements and testimonials, and the first time the rules have covered bloggers.
But the commission stopped short Monday of specifying how bloggers must disclose any conflicts of interest.
The FTC said its commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the final guidelines, which had been expected. Penalties include up to $11,000 in fines per violation.
The rules take effect Dec. 1.
Up until recently, most of my reviews have concerned books that I’ve purchased. Lately I’ve been receiving more unsolicited, free books for review. I’m not sure that I’ve been clear when those are reviews of books I’ve received in this manner. When I say I received a book for review, that means I didn’t buy it. But I guess I need to come up with some sort of stock comment that states the case more clearly – I don’t want a “free” book to end up costing me $11,000.
See NYT article here.