If you’re a blogger and you get free loot (merchandise, products, books, whatever…) then it’s now law (courtesy of the FTC) to disclose it publicly on your posts:
Beginning today, bloggers, Twitterers, and others who write online reviews or endorse products using new media must disclose it when they receive free merchandise or payment for writing about an item.
The guidelines update the FTC’s 1980 guide addressing the use of testimonials in advertising, remapping marketing rules for the digital realm, where it’s hard to know if the exclamatory musings of fashion hounds and best-disposable-diaper posts by suburban moms are inspired by a great product or a free product.
I don’t have a problem with this at all. Although I can understand how some bloggers may feel burned, I honestly don’t understand how that’s really all that big of a concern.
We talk about transparency, honesty, authenticity, blahblahblah all the time. Why wouldn’t you be honest to your readers? Seriously?
The Church should be a champion of this. I get free loot all the time. Luckily for me (and you) most of it is pretty much garbage so I don’t bother writing about it nor wasting your valuable time either.
But, my commitment to you is that when I do get free loot you will be the first to know.