FTW Media

Thoughts about New/Social Media

Blogola blues

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In America in the 1950s, the music industry had the Payola scandal where DJs were paid by record companies to play certain records.

Now, we have Blogola. It’s inevitable that companies would start paying bloggers to write glowing reviews about their products. But is it wrong?

It could be if the American FTC has its way:

… such back-scratching endorsements could become tougher under a coming set of Federal Trade Commission guidelines designed to clarify how companies can court bloggers to write about their products. This summer, the government agency is expected to issue new advertising guidelines that will require bloggers to disclose when they’re writing about a sponsor’s product and voicing opinions that aren’t their own. The new FTC guidelines say that blog authors should disclose when they’re being compensated by an advertiser to discuss a product.

My personal view is that it’s fine to receive payment or products from companies as long as you disclose it. Over the years, I’ve received sponsorship in various ways (usually in the form of products) from different companies and I’ve always disclosed such cases, whether I’m writing for print or for my blog.

Full disclosure is the way to go to avoid a conflict of interest situation.

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Written by Oon Yeoh

May 26, 2009 at 3:00 am

Posted in New Media

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