Full Disclosure: FTC and Blogger Endorsements
In an interview, would you ever tell your potential boss you want “to get paid as much as possible?” Believe it or not, some people do. Yes, everyone would like to be compensated fairly. However, fair pay is implied. Who wants to be underpaid?
If it were up to the FTC, everyone would have to say they wanted to get paid as much as possible. Well, maybe not to that extend, but it is that thinking that is driving new regulations concerning disclosure rules for bloggers. This new regulation would force bloggers fully-disclose their affiliations with companies with whom they write about.
Already, the blogosphere is driven by honesty and transparency. Consider Chris Brogan’s experiment with content endorsing. Though he fully disclosed that he was paid to write a blog post for Kmart, the blogosphere was up in arms.
It comes down to: the FTC is trying to solve a problem that does not exist. Any spammers are very easy to detect and any brand that endorses deceptful practices stands to lose value. It’s like the worn-out maxim: if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.