I came across some short video clips of Mary Engle, Associate Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, explaining some of the questions that have been swirling around about the agency's new disclosure rules for bloggers who review or write about products that were given to them for free by companies, or who have some other type of relationship with a company.
In her videos, Engle said these new guidelines aren't not meant to be burdensome and don't have to be complicated to follow. If a blogger reviews a product they received for free, all the blogger has to do is mention that in the blog post, she said. Will the FTC sue bloggers? That's not why the FTC adopted the guidelines, she said, adding that bloggers shouldn't have a problem as long as they are transparent about their relationships.
The endorsement guide, released Oct. 5, caused a dust-up in the blogosphere, as some bloggers felt they were being held to a different standard than traditional media outlets who routinely receive free samples. The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial on the subject this morning. Last week, the Interactive Advertising Bureau sent a letter to the FTC, calling the new rules "constitutionally dubious."
Here's one of the short clips. Watch the others about specific questions about the guidelines here.