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U.S. FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is pulling no punches: if you are a blogger accepting payments from commercial customers to review their products and services, you need to disclose it upfront… or you can get slapped with fines up to $16,000.
The ruling goes into effect on December 1.
FOR THE RECORD: this blog has not reviewed any products for which it received any payments in cash or in-kind. In those rare cases when we earn a commission out of a book or information product as an affiliate, the fact is disclosed at the end of the review. We welcome any inquiries regarding any reviews that does not have such a disclosure.
The revised FTC Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service.