Honestly, I thought people just assumed that website owners had some kind of financial stake in the material they published. But obviously people can't even figure out that publishers are trying to make money with their websites.
Some people are just stupid!
Anyhow - here is some of the FTC guidelines on their new rule.
The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long standing principle that “material connections” (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect – must be disclosed. These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other “word-of-mouth” marketers. The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service. Likewise, if a company refers in an advertisement to the findings of a research organization that conducted research sponsored by the company, the advertisement must disclose the connection between the advertiser and the research organization. And a paid endorsement – like any other advertisement – is deceptive if it makes false or misleading claims.
Basically, it looks like, if I promote someone else's product with the words I say on a website then I have to tell people reading it that I will make money if they buy the product.
Why else in the world would I be paying money to run a website and put content out into the world? Because I want to use all my time to give back to my community? Right! Because my community gives so much back to me.
Anyhow, I just thought I'd let you know, since some of you who know me might also have similar situations.
Read more about the idiocy of the FTC here.
To be honest, some of the ideas they propose in their law are pretty helpful for consumers. But, I'm not sure exactly how this one, in particular, is going to be that helpful - because I pretty much assume anyone saying something good about someone else is going to be getting paid for saying such a thing online.
Oh - and by the way - I don't get paid one single cent to tell you all of that. My, aren't you lucky.