New Federal Trade Commission Rules for Social Media Content
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has passed new rules on social media content that will go into effect December 1, 2009. The rules are aimed at protecting consumers who read a blog about a product that presents itself as an editorial, when the “blogger” has actually been paid to promote the product and/or has been given the product for free.
This actually goes around a lot in the blogosphere – bloggers getting paid to promote products on blogs or other social media sites (such as Twitter). If you’re one of them (blogger or marketer), here are a few things to keep in mind when endorsing a product or service (in a blog, tweet, etc.):
- You must disclose when you are being compensated for writing about a product, whether you are being paid for the endorsement or have been give free sample of the product.
- Be truthful and certain that your statements can be substantiated.
- Speak from actual experience – don’t just regurgitate the sponsor’s marketing jargon if it isn’t an actual experience or your own opinion.
Failure to follow the rules will result in a substantial fine! Be careful out there!