New FTC Regulations go live December 1

The FTC has accepted its proposed changes to the Guides and expects compliance by December 1, with fines of up to $11,000. Read their official statement here.

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FTC Announces Revised Schedule for Workshop: “From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?”

From http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/08/news2009.shtm: “The Federal Trade Commission today announced December 1 and 2, 2009, as the dates on which it will begin a series of workshops titled “From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?” The workshops previously were scheduled to begin on September 15, 2009.

The workshops will bring competition, consumer protection, and First Amendment perspectives to bear on the financial, technological, and other challenges facing the news industry as consumers increasingly turn to the Internet for free news and information, advertisers increasingly move their ads onto online sites and reduce advertising buys as a result of the recession, and news organizations struggle with large debt that was taken on when times were better. Continue reading

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The FTC vs Blog-ola

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced earlier this year that it plans to revise its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (“the Guides”) to include blogging, microblogging, and other internet platforms in order to combat deceptive sponsored posts. The proposed amendment will regulate how bloggers and other social media users endorse products; this could strike a blow to both the companies who crowdsource using social media and the bloggers who supplement their income with freebies.  However, while the FTC admits that this is a controversial proposal, they also view it as a way to update their mission of consumer protection for the 21st century.

The FTC has not yet decided whether or not to adopt the revisions; they are scheduled to announce their decision before the end of the summer. Regardless, the announcement has certainly stirred interesting debate and brought to light certain weaknesses of both sponsored posts and the proposed means of regulating them.

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