The FTC is changing the way bloggers and others must disclose endorsements of products whether for pay or for receiving free products. When I first read the proposal my first thought was that I have received a free copy of Windows 7 Ultimate since I was a beta tester. So if I write anything about Windows 7 do I have to disclose this fact every time I write about it?

According to a recent article it stated the following information:

It’s the first time since 1980 that the FTC has updated its rules on the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. In addition to covering bloggers, the new FTC rules state that celebrity endorsers can be held liable for false statements about a product, and all endorsements must include results consumers can “generally expect.” Previously, an advertiser could cover their claims by the disclaimer “results not typical.”

But the new rules on bloggers are the most far-reaching attempt to stamp some guidelines of conduct on the blogosphere, which generally operates according to informal codes and the notion that “inauthentic” bloggers — including those not disclosing commercial relationships — will suffer in the web’s court of public opinion.

The new rules go into effect Dec. 1, and penalties include $11,000 in fines per violation. The FTC wasn’t specific about how disclosures must be communicated but said its decisions would be made on a “case-by-case” basis.

This isn’t very helpful:

The FTC wasn’t specific about how disclosures must be communicated…….

One can hope that guidelines will be in place before December 1, so that bloggers will know what they must do. I can also see how this may have andaffect on those sites that only do product reviews. It will be interesting to see how those sites handle the new regulations.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.