It’s a good thing the U.S. Federal Trade Commission released its new changes to its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising yesterday.
They were last updated in 1980, and, well, the world has changed a little bit since then.
With the new guidelines, bloggers, in particular, are impacted.
Moving forward, bloggers who fail to disclose they have received freebies when they write about a product can now be fined up to $11,000 per post.
For the record, the last freebie I remember getting was a really cool FlipVideo camera at the Search Engine Strategies Conference, from the search metrics firm Covario.
However, I didn’t blog about it, so I’m probably being overly transparent here.
However, it sounds like with these new guidelines, that’s the order of the day.
While I’m at it, I may as well go ahead with some other full disclosures.
In the 1980s, I listened to Rick Springfield…and actually liked some of his songs. REO Speedwagon, I can honestly say, I hated just about every song.
I was a member of the Future Farmers of America, and in fact, was the actual president. I’m sure I’m the only FFA president who wore Van Halen t-shirts and topsiders.
I went to rodeo school once, way back in 1982. The horse threw me and dragged me around the Kowbell Arena in Mansfield, Texas, and thus ended my illustrious rodeo career.
When I lived in New York City, I was a bicycle messenger on two separate occasions, and got hit by three different cabs…including the last one which “doored” me and sent me in my only ambulance ride to Bellevue hospital.
When I was in Paris once, I ate at a McDonalds (although I have to say, they took the Egg McMuffin and really made it their own — it was the best Egg McMuffin I’d ever had, and McDonalds is definitely not paying me to say that).
Worse yet, that particular McDonalds was literally down the street from Le Louvre.
I also ate at a McDonalds in Tokyo (it was the cheapest breakfast I could find), and their Egg McMuffins weren’t bad, but not nearly as good as the French.
The fact that the French make a better Egg McMuffin than we do in America is definitely worth the price of full disclosure, which in this case is nada, zip, zero.
I still smoke cigarettes, mostly when I drink and heavily when I’m traveling in Europe and Asia, not nearly as much back on the home front.
My favorite domestic beer is Budweiser, which in the spirit of full disclosure can’t, I don’t believe, still be identified as being a domestic beer since Anheuser-Busch was bought by InBev.
My favorite imported beer would probably be a three-way toss up between Westmalle, Bass, and Guinness…and for the record, I’ve visited Belgium, England, and Ireland.
My new favorite blogging software is the one I’m currently blogging on, WordPress. WordPress apparently doesn’t charge me anything to use their blogging software, but they also don’t pay me anything to say good things about them.
I’ll be sure to tell you if that changes anytime soon.