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Wednesday, October 07, 2009


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Peter Stindberg

While this is probably more aimed at the a-list RL bloggers, I think in general it is sad that there needs to be regulation for this at all. As a blogger the most important thing you have is your credibility. And credibility needs to be earned, and a phrase like "XYZ sent me a review copy of their latest gown/hair/skin" actually helps building credibility. It's a no-brainer actually.

Arcadia Codesmith

Peter, I agree, and that's always been best practice.

But the FTC guidelines go further; essentially, by accepting a review copy a blogger becomes a paid endorser for the company, and her blog is subject to all the rules and regulations regarding paid endorsements.

This is silly because the company submitting the review copy has no editorial control over the blog, and even a glowing review is likely to contain some critical remarks (if only as an excuse for the blogger to flaunt his or her keen powers of observation).

I don't think the FTC can fairly and effectively regulate this practice, and if they try, I don't think it'll hold up to a court challenge.

Ciaran Laval

I think the iced tea purchase should be mentioned in the masthead ;)

As Peter says, it's the sort of thing that shouldn't need to be enforced, you always mention, for example, that Rezzable and Koinup are linked with your site. Really, it's common courtesy to inform people if you're getting gifts and such like.

I can't see this being much of an issue for SL bloggers.

Crap Mariner

Look, I know I'm behind on my assignment, but when I get around to posting the review of that Logitech QuickDildo haptic peripheral you sent me, I'll be sure to mention the source, okay?

*sheesh* Some people... (mutter)


Harper Beresford

I heard a story about that on NPR and the consensus was that the FTC didn't define *how* one was to reveal the receipt of compensation or where. And with the various styles of what are called "blogs" out there, it gets even more confusing.

(And I never got an iced tea from ANY Linden. Teagan STILL owes me a drink.)

Pappy Enoch

Hoo whee. I'm a gonna give every dang blob-writer some o' my Moonshine. Then ya'll best put my name in every blob.

I says that because most writers likes to drink. I know y'all will get desperate at some point for a good meataphor out comes the bottle.

Put me in every post or I'll sick the law-dawgs on y'all!

Cajsa Lilliehook

This need not be onerous or difficult. I got tired of the fashion blog haters who would do their tired spiel about how bloggers are all corrupt and only blog to get free clothes and so on, so I decided long ago to adopt a full disclosure model which demonstrates clearly that what I blog is not influenced by promotional copies from designers.

Here's how to do it simply. When you receive items to review, rename the folder it comes in, just adding the word Review, Promo, or Blog or whatever word you choose to denote promotional items. Then you will remember that it was promotional even if you are blogging it a second or third time and months after receiving it.

Most bloggers have a list of items worn at the end of their posts. A simple declaration that all promotional items are marked with an *, an R or some other symbol and then typing that symbol after each item and there you have full disclosure.

It's an easy, low effort system that doesn't require you to constantly construct disclosure sentences in the blog, so you can write as you please and still achieve full disclosure.

Nahasa Singh

Correct me if i'm wrong, but these absurd FTC rules, IMHO, apply only to US bloggers writing about US companies (both subject to US laws). So it will be interesting when someone from Norway or Brazil reviews a product from a US-based merchant, without a proper disclaimer, and gets an FTC threat or fine...

And what happens to the US-based blogger reviewing Chinese HUDs or French skins while getting a free copy ? Is it still payola even if it doesn't come from a US company ?

Can't a company establish a legal residence in Second Life now ? We'll see more and more of that, could be a way to circumvent moronic regulations like that one.

Crap Mariner

There's a wide gap between legal threats and legal action.

Meow. Hiss.


Connie Sec

I blog what I blog cos I Like it. If the U.S. wants to take me to court over their local regulations, let them try. What a waste of cyberspace

CyFishy Traveler

I know of at least one "fashion blogger" who started up a blog and then proceeded to hit up designers with O HAI I R FASHUN BLOGR GIVES MEH FREE STUFFS PLZ.

Didn't go over well.

Tateru Nino

I've never reviewed any SL thing that I didn't spend money on (unless the item was actually a freebie). I've been sent various review copies of things, but honestly? I didn't even look at those.

If I didn't want to spend money on it, why should you care what I have to say whether I think *you* should?

EnCore Mayne

this should be interesting. as recent experience has shown, equating a review blogpost with actual hard currency is looked upon as a hellfire method for protectionist rhetoric amongst the glitterati who dutifully dole out there mindless drole so they can avoid the lines to the latest from the greatest.

selling virtual goods is becoming a big business if no one's noticed as of yet. "hyping" your favourite creator's wares without acknowledging the implied social contract for the "gift" is at best ignorant. at worst, stupid. exploiting the stupid has always been the mark of true marketing genius.

all in all, the responsibility lies with the designers who've lived off this manner of doing business for far too long.

assuming fashion bloggers are all giddy star struck debutantes eager to lap dance for a skin, a gown, or some other fashion bauble doesn't work anymore. now there are entire networks devoted to hyping (with absolutely no hint of disclosure) the newest shiny.

legitimate businesses who provide their products to independant critical review just aren't out there as far as i can tell. it's far easier to continue with the status quo. one pair of shoes = one positive review (or else!).

hopefully, with this new FTC ruling, the educated consumer will begin to demand a far more transparent relationship the elitist bloggers have with their benefactors.

Tateru Nino

Well, here are my own disclosures: http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/disclosures/

Dale Innis

I think that the FTC here is really targetting th' advertisers themselves, who now will not be able to (in th' US anyway) say to a blogger "we'll give you free samples if you promise to review them and not tell anyone that we gave them to you free", or at least not without breaking the law by asking them to break the law.

If you get my drifts...

Arcadia Codesmith

I don't see any circumstance in which you could effectively bribe a blogger to write a good review of substandard merchandise by providing a free copy of the substandard merchandise... especially if we're talking about an established and respected (i.e. "elitist") writer whose entire stock in trade is the trust of her readership.

It just doesn't make sense. Who would sell her reputation down the river for a US$5 dress that she doesn't really like?

Review copies aren't quid pro quo... they just exist because a)you can't review something you haven't worn, and b)there aren't enough hours in the day to wander the souless mini-malls in the forlorn hope of finding a diamond to review among the fetid pools of raw sewage.

Disclosure: good. Allowing the FTC to regulate non-commercial blogs as advertising: bad.

Nike Air Max Hyperdunk 2010

You may remenber the two proverbs:
If we can only encounter each other rather than stay with each other,then I wish we had never encountered.­
I would like weeping with the smile rather than repenting with the cry,when my heart is broken ,is it needed to fix?­

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