As the US Federal Trade Commission wrestles with disclosure rules for ALL
online media (including Blogs and Tweets), Pradnya Joshi’s article “When a Blogger Voices Approval, a Sponsor May Be Lurking” is sure to set tongues wagging when it officially hits the streets in Monday’s hardcopy issue of The New York Times. Joshi interviewed influential bloggers and Tweeters, including ClassyMommy.com and SavvyAuntie.com whose favorable reviews of products are much sought after by marketers only too happy to send free products for these reviews. Both ClassyMommy and SavvyAuntie welcome paid sponsorships to review products, but say they disclose these associations up front.
In his article, Joshi notes that “the proliferation of paid sponsorships online has not been without controversy. Some in the online world deride the actions as kickbacks. Others also question the legitimacy of bloggers’ opinions, even when the commercial relationships are clearly outlined to readers.”
What’s your opinion?
A draft of the FTC’s proposed guidelines is available for comment.