Subtitle: 
For bloggers reviewing products, the new rules may have a significant impact
Important Tip Bloggers receiving freebies in exchange for review will be required to disclose their gifts.

Many bloggers receive free products from manufacturers eager to obtain publicity and favorable reviews for their products.  The Federal Trade Commission recently unveiled rules that will affect that practice.  Beginning on December 1, bloggers will be required to disclose gifts received from advertisers in exchange for reviews.

For bloggers who already disclose this information, the rules are unlikely to affect their practices.  The rules are aimed at blogs that appear to be independent of the advertisers about whom they write.  The government’s concern is that consumers may be confused or deceived into believing biased reviews are, in fact, independent.  The rules appear to apply regardless of whether the advertiser’s gift actually influences the content of the product review.

The new rules will not prohibit such gifts though.  They merely require bloggers to disclose when a product or payment is received, so that readers understand that a review may not be objective and independent.

Despite the new rules, it is not clear what their practical impact will be.  The FTC has stated that it will not hire additional personnel to monitor blogs for potential violations.  Time will tell exactly how the government applies the rules, and how strongly it enforces them.
 

Additional Information
Important Tip: 
Bloggers receiving freebies in exchange for review will be required to disclose their gifts.
Marketing copy: 
compliance with advertising laws