The other day the book smugglers were talking about the new FTC Guidelines. They went on for quite a while about how annoying the new rules are, specifically the ones that apply to blogs. This is from the FTC press release.
The revised 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.
The interesting thing for me was when they started discussing why exactly they thought that the new guidelines are not a good idea.
I’ll say it again: the FTC’s approach to blogging is laughably antiquated and not applicable.
So what do we do to ensure that policies and regulations are appropriate for the digital age? I don’t know. I think it is a big problem that has yet to be resolved.
To conform to the FTC guidelines, book smugglers now has the following policy:
In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, The Book Smugglers would like everyone to know that while we do purchase our own books for review on occasion, you should assume that every book reviewed here at The Book Smugglers was provided to the reviewers by the publisher or the author for free unless specified otherwise.”