Bloggers Must Disclose Gifts When Newspapers Don’t

The Feds want bloggers who review products to disclose any connection with advertisers and whether or not they were paid by advertisers. The move from the Federal Trade Commission is based on the principle of transparency. From the perspective of wanting to see truth in advertising there is nothing wrong with the Feds move – some consumer protection on this front seems necessary.

But the Feds are over-reaching surely when they want bloggers to indicate when they received free products. As a lawyer at Manatt Phelps & Phillips, a firm that represents marketing groups, commented, “If a product is provided to bloggers, the F.T.C. will consider that, in most cases, to be a material connection even if the advertiser has no control over the content of the blogs.” I don’t recall newspapers or broadcasters being required to reveal if they received a free product. How else can you review unless you have a vast expense account?