Should Blogger Sponsorship Deals Be Regulated?

The FTC weighs new guidelines. Marketers say the Web polices its own.

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Some bloggers are paid to tout products. Not all of them say so. Soon, Federal Trade Commission guidelines could require that bloggers identify any sponsors. Marketers say that's fine but that they police themselves vigorously already. Are the FTC watchdogs necessary?
Edited by Steve St. Angelo


By Robert Weissman
Managing director of the Washington, D.C.-based Commercial Alert

A core principle of U.S. communications and fair advertising law is that people have a right to know when they are being advertised to. There's no reason this rule shouldn't apply to the Internet. The rise of blogs, electronic bulletin boards, and social media has created whole new forms of public communication that did not exist just a decade ago....



By Paul M. Rand
President/CEO of Zócalo Group and president-elect, Word of Mouth Marketing Association

What was your reaction the last time someone told you something that turned out to be greatly exaggerated or even untrue? Do you remember how you felt, and how many people you told, after you bought an overhyped product that underdelivered? I'm willing to bet that in both cases, you began to doubt the credibility of the person or company behind the misrepresentation....


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