FTC Cracks Down on Payola in the Blogosphere

Under the FTC’s latest revisions to its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, bloggers who fail to disclose payments they have received from the subjects of their reviews may face penalties of up to $11,000 per violation. The new regulations, published at 16 C.F.R. 255, go into effect on December 1, 2009.

As you might imagine, the new regulation has given bloggers something to, well, blog about. Here is a sampling of reactions from the blogosphere.

  • “What Would Google Do?” author and blogger Jeff Jarvis, warns that the new regulation is based on faulty assumptions and is overbroad in its scope.
  • David Johnson at Digital Media Lawyer Blog analyzes the risks the new regulations create for word of mouth advertising.
  • Jim Harper at Cato @ Liberty denounces the new regulation as an assault on freedom of speech.
  • Henry McCracken at Technologizer lauds the FTC’s good intentions but thinks that by including bloggers who receive products for review from manufacturers, the regulation casts too wide a net.
  • Brennon Slattery at Today @ PC World suggests that the FTC’s hands-on approach to the internet is a good thing but acknowledges that it may raise some privacy concerns.
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law Professor Deven Desai gives his take on the regulation at Madisonian.net.

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