Those Who Earn Money Online Through Reviews Must Have Clear and Conspicuous Disclosure

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took a step last Monday to regulate blogging. News from MSNBC said, “The FTC will require that writers on the Web clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products.” The commissioners of FTC voted 4-0 the final guidelines which will take effect on December 1, 2009.

Particularly for bloggers, “Rich Cleland, assistant director of the FTC’s advertising practices division, said the disclosure must be “clear and conspicuous,” no matter what form it will take,” MSNBC news article said.

So, the question is, “how will this affect bloggers who do paid reviews for online companies who pay them to blog?” For companies who require a review, then bloggers will then have to disclose that they were paid to write the review. For other companies who just want to get a link in a blog post, as long as it does not review a product or a site, then a disclosure would not be necessary.

The butterfly effect is that Google may respond against blogs who have paid reviews – or they may not now that everything is required by law to be out in the open. I just hope that this won’t affect opportunities for bloggers who make money online through paid posts and their blogs.

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