How FTC rules could rein in blog endorsements

Proposed regs could include requiring full disclosure of compensation and swag.

Proposed regs could include requiring full disclosure of compensation and swag

For years, the blogosphere has been a wide-open range, full of possibility and marketing potential.

As Scott Monty puts it, “Since blogging is relatively new and because there’s no editorial oversight, it can seem like the Wild West, absent any guiding principles.” Monty is Ford Motor Co.’s manager of global digital and multimedia communications.

The lack of regulation has allowed companies to pay or otherwise compensate bloggers for promotional content, which bloggers have been free to pass off as personal opinion. Neither company nor blogger was held responsible for outlandish and unverifiable claims.

More important, the changes would enable the FTC to prosecute not only the bloggers for their indiscretions, but also the companies that fund them.

Yes, that could mean you.

Business as usual?

Although there’s been a lot of buzz about the implications of these potential changes, some companies say that there wouldn’t be much impact to their marketing strategies.

Monty says that Ford’s Fiesta marketing campaign, which relies heavily on bloggers as well as influencers in other areas of social media, probably would not be affected.

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