Have you ever wondered if that blogger raving about his totally awesome experience at Applebee’s has been in some way sweetened up? How about that fashion blogger who raves about her “favorite” brand on a daily basis?
Consumerist reports that “for the first time since 1980, the FTC has updated its rules about endorsements and testimonials, and they've added blogging to the books. Now bloggers who don't disclose that they've been somehow compensated—either with cash or with free services or products—can be fined up to $11,000.”
Oh no! What will bloggers do without a steady stream of free stuff for "review purposes?" They will probably have to focus more on securing advertisers, either directly or through programs such as Google AdSense and Blogads. Whether this is good or bad is really up for debate.
Keep in mind, the new rules don’t mean you cannot accept free stuff or compensation—you just have to disclose it.
Full disclosure: As of press time, the FTC has not given me any free swag or under the table compensation to write about their new rules. By the way, please shop at Wal-Mart (Stock Quote: WMT) at some point this week—they are TOTALLY AWESOME and have the BEST customer service… highly recommend those guys.