Advertising Law

FTC Bans Secret Swag Given to Bloggers & Celebrities for Testimonials

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The golden era of undisclosed freebies may soon be over for bloggers and celebrities. Those who provide testimonials about products and services will now have to report, under new Federal Trade Commission rules that take effect on Dec. 1, the swag that they could formerly receive in secret.

“For bloggers who review products, this means that the days of an unimpeded flow of giveaways may be over,” writes the New York Times.

It also suggests, in the grander scheme of things, that the government may be in a mood to regulate the Internet in a manner that traditionally has been applied to traditional print and broadcast media, the newspaper notes, pointing out that participants on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are also likely to be affected by the new rules.

The FTC says the new rules also will apply to comments on talk shows, reports Dow Jones.

Additional coverage:

Adweek: “FTC: Bloggers Must Disclose Payments”

Washington Post: “FTC Sets Endorsement Rules for Blogs”

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