Bloggers that endorse products are about to be under a lot more scrutiny. The FTC today has issued new rules requiring the disclosure of financial ties between bloggers, and products/services they review. These changes are the first in nearly 30 years to redefine the relationship between reviewers and companies.
The so called “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”, say that any material connections must be fully disclosed by the blogger. This could include payments in cash or free products. The FTC made it clear that this was not a blanket decree and that possible infractions would be handled on a case by case basis.
The new rules set out a possible penalty of $11,000 per violation if a blogger should fail to disclose these financial relationships. Though, the FTC didn’t lay out specifics on how bloggers should disclose these connections. The rules take effect December 1st.
Downloading Youtube videos has been a piece of cake for quite sometime now, though Youtube never expressly gave its assent to downloading until last month, when it made it possible for users to download videos from Barack Obama’s Youtube channel. As it turns out now, the company was just testing waters by allowing Obama’s videos to be downloaded.
Now, the video sharing website has formally approved downloading. Not all videos will be free to download, however, as users will have to pay a fee to download some of the videos. Youtube is testing an option that will let video publishers make their content available offline for free or for a price they deem fit. All payments will be processed by Youtube’s cognate company Google Checkout.
It is strange that Youtube expects users will actually be interested in paying for videos when they can be download for free through the large number of online tools available for that purpose.