Last week, the FTC issued a ruling that will have the effect of cracking down on bloggers who write about free products without disclosing that they were, in fact, “compensated” for the post.
Certainly, it seems like this is an update that’s time has come. While most well-run social media programs already include appropriate disclosure, there’s still no shortage of unscrupulous marketers using deceptive practices to sell products. Now, with the threat of serious fines, those who look to push the boundaries of ethical blogging will be doing so at their own risk.
Yet, something about the ruling seemed wrong to me. Then I read an excellent piece by Eric Felten in the Wall St. Journal. Felten writes the popular column, “How’s your drink?” and he made my objections clear.