by: Kenneth Cossin
As bloggers, we all are word-of-mouth advertisers to some extent. Therefore, we may occasionally find ourselves in the seemingly wonderful situation of receiving free gifts, products, services or even monetary rewards for “advertising” or endorsing a person, product, or service.
These situations will turn from wonderful to ugly if bloggers do not follow the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) rule that goes into effect on 1 December 2009. We must remember that both advertisers and endorsers must create a level of transparency. That is, we must disclose any material connections that we may have with any individuals, companies, corporations, celebrities, etc.
From a blogger’s perspective, it is just good practice to cover yourself. From an advertiser’s perspective, you may want to be even more conscientious regarding transparency regarding any material connections.
The moral of this story? Be as honest and ethical as possible in any way that you decide to do business. Remember, nothing in this world is free, and if there is a claim that it is, steer clear.
Also of note is to be careful what you tweet about or in response to. I replied to a tweet about someone being sent a $399 dollar sleep device to review. Then was immediately followed on Twitter by the company for the device the following day.