Word of Mouth Marketers Must now Disclose Relationships

FtcFor the first time in a long time a decision by the FTC may actually have a positive effect to some bad things that have been happening on the Internet. Primarily that word of mouth marketers may soon be forced to disclose when they have a financial relationship with a vendor.

Some bloggers, podcasters and others have been criticised in recent times for not disclosing when they have been paid an incentive to talk about a product. For example I do reviews on products from time to time here. While I never guarantee a favourable review I always try to put a disclaimer on the review the company has sent me a loaner unit.

This action if enforced will cause sites like PayPerPost to enforce disclosure among those that have been promoting products they have been paid to review.

As many of you remember several years ago I was involved in the Marqui pay to blog program. That promotion was a terrific success not only for Marqui but it also set a standard in which bloggers were asked to disclose the relationship and bloggers were told to say what they wanted to say positive or negative. [Washington Post]