The Federal Trade Commission commissioners unanimously approved guidelines that require bloggers to reveal that they’ve been paid or otherwise compensated for writing product reviews (read: have conflicts of interest.)
The new rules, which will go into effect Dec. 1, carry penalties of $11,000 for each violation.
Blogging product reviews has become a major cottage industry. If a blogger gets several free cases of disposable diapers or a $10,000 firewall appliance in exchange for a review, it might just be a good idea if readers were made aware of that fact.
The FTC guidelines on endorsements and testimonials haven’t been updated since 1980.