According to reports published yesterday by the Associated Press, the Federal Trade Commission plans to monitor blogs as part of their enforcement of revisions to 16 C.F.R. Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. It seems that the FTC is concerned that bloggers that write about products should be considered “endorsements” and therefore subject to the same regulations as advertisers. According to the draft I read, this would apply to bloggers regardless of whether they advertise on their blog or not. I’m frankly shocked that the FTC would consider a blog post to have the same impact that a paid advertisement would on radio, television or in the print media.
Just so we’re all clear on this issue. I have not and do not accept any remuneration from any company who’s products I use and write about. I have not and do not plan to accept advertisements on my blog. In fact, I pay extra to WordPress.com to ensure that no advertisements are displayed on my blog. All opinions written in this blog are my opinions only and do not reflect any scientific evidence on the validity of these opinions. I do not write about these products to influence your decision to purchase these products and obviously, your own expereinces with these products or similar products will be different than mine. Basically, take everything I say with a big grain of salt and use your own common sense.
Now, having said that, I do not plan to change the content of my blog, nor to stop writing about photographic products or techniques that I find helpful. As far as I know, we still live in a country where freedom of speach is protected by our Constitution and Bill of Rights and I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if I’ll let the FTC tell me what I can and cannot write on my blog.