Irene Watson gave me a heads-up that the Federal Trade Commission was looking at the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in relation to bloggers. (see link #1 at the end of page).
I am not even sure I understand everything, so you'll have to read this stuff for yourself. Don't ignore it because the fine is BIG if you screw up and get caught. (see link #2)
One discussion Irene and I had was about non-American bloggers. Personally, I wouldn't think anyone blogging on American sites should ignore learning about this new development - it might apply even to foreign bloggers, if blogging is on an USA site. Yeah, policing might be a task.
My take on this is they didn't take this step because a few people get free books in exchange for a book review. Most of us know there is little control over how the review gets written, and frankly, it is kinda fun to see how they turn out. Nonetheless, I suppose beginning December 1, this year, we should consider noting compensation of any kind we get.
Sure it is the usual thing where everyone has to take notice because some companies set up blogs and hired people to give bogus endorsements - so goes the rumor, but anyone who pays attention to the industry already knew that. It was the news two years ago. It was also rumored that some companies tried, briefly, to hire people to write bad stuff about other companies.
All of that is childish and I don't think any of us grown-up types stoop to that stuff. The thing is, I don't care if someone gives me a book [I usually buy or trade books], if I hate the book, I'm not going to say I like it. I might not say anything, but I'm not going to Hell for lying over something like that.
So I guess it is true confession time. Maybe I'll write about my recent conflict of interest next week. Stay tuned.
Link #1 http://www.edrants.com/interview-with-the-ftcs-richard-cleland/
Link #2 http://money.cnn.com/2009/10/06/news/companies/ftc_blogger_advertising_rules/?postversion=2009100611
Meet Irene Watson here: http://www.irenewatson.com/
No compensation has been given for this post. We are friends - that's why we talk about book stuff with each other.