The FTC is drawing up plans for a dam to slow down the raging river of Advanced Review Copies being sent for free to bloggers, who apparently are turning around and selling them for big payola. My fellow bloggers, big lifestyle changes are in the works.
For Sale, one ARC-sale-funded $780,000,000 yacht with “Condalmo Hammock” written on the back:
This morning, the Federal Trade Commission announced that its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials would be revised in relation to bloggers. The new guidelines (PDF) specified that bloggers making any representation of a product must disclose the material connections they (the presumed endorsers) share with the advertisers. What this means is that, under the new guidelines, a blogger’s positive review of a product may qualify as an “endorsement” and that keeping a product after a review may qualify as “compensation.”
That excerpt from a post at Ed’s site; the post goes on to examine the implications, the discrepancies, and the bollocks. If you’re in the business, it’s worth a read. Here’s more on the matter from today’s New York Times. Ron Hogan is appropriately disgruntled at GalleyCat. I’m not sure why the FTC thinks that publishers expect positive reviews from bloggers, or that bloggers feel compelled to say positive things at the expense of their credibility. It seems counterintuitive.