Bloggers to be forced to declare interests by the US FTC

Bloggers to be forced to declare interests by the US FTC

The Federal Trade Commission announced last Monday its intention to introduce rules forcing bloggers to declare any interest in products reviewed or discussed in their blogs. While it is always best practice to be as open and transparent as possible, some bloggers use sites such as PayPerPost.com to try and earn an income from blogging. While the vast majority of blogs are unlikely to make their authors rich, (unless of course you are the HuffintonPost), it is interesting that the FTC has felt it necessary to introduce these rules and restrictions around citizen journalism.

While I applaud efforts to regulate this space, I’m not certain how effective or realistic these rules are likely to be. Many in the UK Fund Management industry are well aware that a certain former head of a now infamous investment manager effectively prevented any kind of negative commentary around his products via the omnipresent threat of legal action and writs – even if that comment was often founded in fact. Perversely, isn’t ‘forcing’ people to only ever consider writing good stories about your products or services pretty much the same as paying them to do so in the first place – particularly if there’s also the risk of the publishers advertising revenue also disappearing overnight?

Good luck to the FTC!

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