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Old 06-10-2009, 08:44   #1
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New FTC Rules on Product Endorsments

The FTC has just announced a change in their rules which may affect posts in forums such as this one.

"New FTC guidelines will require bloggers to disclose any money or freebies they receive in exchange for writing product reviews, an attempt to bring mainstream media rules to the internet. A blogger or social-media user who endorses a product without disclosing his connection to the company will face an $11,000 per-post fine. "
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:27   #2
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I was unable to get Don's link to bring up anything - here's the relevant page:FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials

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Old 06-10-2009, 10:31   #3
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Interesting. It could be good in that it could give consumers more protection and bad in that it might be eating away at the fringes of the First Amendment.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:30   #4
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It's about disclosure.
According to Rich Cleland, assistant director of the FTC's advertising practices division, the FTC's enforcement priorities make it more likely an advertiser would be targeted for disclosure or testimonial violations than a blogger. The exception would be a blogger who runs a "substantial" operation that violates FTC rules and already received a warning.
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Old 06-10-2009, 13:13   #5
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FTC acts like it runs the whole internet worldwide, doesn't it. Basically, doesn't it puts restrictions on people living in the USA that the rest of the world doesn't have?How nice.

Maybe there's a buck to be made by bloggers like me who don't have to listen to the FTC.
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Old 06-10-2009, 13:24   #6
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From today's New York Times:

* * *

"FOR nearly three decades, the Federal Trade Commission’s rules regarding the relationships between advertisers and product reviewers and endorsers were deemed adequate. Then came the age of blogging and social media."

* * *

For the complete article, go to:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/06/bu...adco.html?_r=1

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Old 06-10-2009, 14:05   #7
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Basically, doesn't it (sic: FTC) put restrictions on people living in the USA that the rest of the world doesn't have?How nice ...
Not necessarily nice, but it is their job.

Even these new restrictions, limiting advertisers’ right to conceal, camouflage, and masquerade, don’t match the real thing. Think China’s “Great Firewall”, etc.

Do the regulations, requiring “full disclosure”, inhibit or endanger our ability to engage in (?the right to?) a free exchange of information and ideas?

Should the freedom of expression be a licence to lie (by commission or by omission)?

If we can agree that: “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." (Oliver W. Holmes), it follows that there must be responsibility and order, as well as freedom.

The democratic experiment is about the balancing of these, often conflicting, principles.

Of course, these experiments don’t necessarily have to work, for we could still pervert liberty into license.
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Old 06-10-2009, 14:18   #8
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Should the freedom of expression be a licence to lie (by commission or by omission)?
Yes! As a community of sailors, we'd better hope like crazy that we're still free to lie!
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Old 06-10-2009, 15:18   #9
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Yes Red, as an American, you are free to lie.

For instance:

FOX News has asserted that there are no written rules against distorting news in the media. They argued that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves. And it worked - they won their case.

In December 1996, Jane Akre and her husband, Steve Wilson, were hired by FOX as a part of the Fox "Investigators" team at WTVT in Tampa Bay, Florida to investigate bovine growth hormone (BGH), a controversial substance manufactured by Monsanto Corporation. Fox executives and their attorneys wanted the reporters to use statements from Monsanto representatives, that the reporters knew were false, and to make other revisions to the story that were in direct conflict with the facts. Fox editors then tried to force Akre and Wilson to continue to produce the distorted story.

In August of 2000, a unanimous Florida jury found that Akre was wrongfully fired by Fox Television, when she refused to broadcast (in the jury's words) "a false, distorted or slanted story" The jury awarded her $425,000 in damages.

FOX appealed the case, and on February 14, 2003 the Florida Second District Court of Appeals overturned the settlement awarded to Akre.

In a stunningly narrow interpretation of FCC rules, the Florida Appeals court claimed that the FCC policy against falsification of the news does not rise to the level of a "law, rule, or regulation," it was simply a "policy." Therefore, it is up to the station whether or not it wants to report honestly

Fox attorneys did not dispute Akre’s claim that they pressured her to broadcast a false story, they simply maintained that it was their right to do so.


While Nike was conducting a huge and expensive PR blitz to tell people that it had cleaned up its subcontractors' sweatshop labour practices, an alert consumer advocate and activist in California named Marc Kasky caught them in what he alleges are a number of specific deceptions. Citing a California law that forbids corporations from intentionally deceiving people in their commercial statements, Kasky sued the multi-billion-dollar corporation.

Instead of refuting Kasky's charge by proving in court that they didn't lie, however, Nike instead chose to argue that corporations should enjoy the same "free speech" right to deceive that individual human citizens have in their personal lives. If people have the constitutionally protected right to say, "The check is in the mail," or, "That looks great on you," then, Nike's reasoning goes, a corporation should have the same right to say whatever they want in their corporate PR campaigns.

They took this argument all the way to the California Supreme Court, where they lost.
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Old 06-10-2009, 15:25   #10
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GOOO GORD!
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Old 06-10-2009, 15:37   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
FOX News has asserted that there are no written rules against distorting news in the media.
Gord, I'm shocked, shocked that Fox would take this position.

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Old 06-10-2009, 17:27   #12
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Since this rule only applies in America (?) - Whats the relevance in an international sailing forum I asks myself???? (Actually - arent all web forums "international" almost by definition?)
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Old 06-10-2009, 19:15   #13
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Who is the FTC?
I wonder if its like the Australian Government banning internet porn?

As far as I am aware there is no porn on the internet whatsoever!
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Old 06-10-2009, 21:22   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Yes Red, as an American, you are free to lie.

For instance:

FOX News has asserted that there are no written rules against distorting news in the media. They argued that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves. And it worked - they won their case.

In December 1996, Jane Akre and her husband, Steve Wilson, were hired by FOX as a part of the Fox "Investigators" team at WTVT in Tampa Bay, Florida to investigate bovine growth hormone (BGH), a controversial substance manufactured by Monsanto Corporation. Fox executives and their attorneys wanted the reporters to use statements from Monsanto representatives, that the reporters knew were false, and to make other revisions to the story that were in direct conflict with the facts. Fox editors then tried to force Akre and Wilson to continue to produce the distorted story.

In August of 2000, a unanimous Florida jury found that Akre was wrongfully fired by Fox Television, when she refused to broadcast (in the jury's words) "a false, distorted or slanted story" The jury awarded her $425,000 in damages.

FOX appealed the case, and on February 14, 2003 the Florida Second District Court of Appeals overturned the settlement awarded to Akre.

In a stunningly narrow interpretation of FCC rules, the Florida Appeals court claimed that the FCC policy against falsification of the news does not rise to the level of a "law, rule, or regulation," it was simply a "policy." Therefore, it is up to the station whether or not it wants to report honestly

Fox attorneys did not dispute Akre’s claim that they pressured her to broadcast a false story, they simply maintained that it was their right to do so.


While Nike was conducting a huge and expensive PR blitz to tell people that it had cleaned up its subcontractors' sweatshop labour practices, an alert consumer advocate and activist in California named Marc Kasky caught them in what he alleges are a number of specific deceptions. Citing a California law that forbids corporations from intentionally deceiving people in their commercial statements, Kasky sued the multi-billion-dollar corporation.

Instead of refuting Kasky's charge by proving in court that they didn't lie, however, Nike instead chose to argue that corporations should enjoy the same "free speech" right to deceive that individual human citizens have in their personal lives. If people have the constitutionally protected right to say, "The check is in the mail," or, "That looks great on you," then, Nike's reasoning goes, a corporation should have the same right to say whatever they want in their corporate PR campaigns.

They took this argument all the way to the California Supreme Court, where they lost.
Lets not forget the Dan Rather lie either
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Old 06-10-2009, 21:48   #15
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Who is the FTC?
I wonder if its like the Australian Government banning internet porn?

As far as I am aware there is no porn on the internet whatsoever!
Really?? Dang, and I thought we were the prudes over here!

P.S. Red Mantis, I totally get what you were saying- there'll be no more tall tales of the sea to tell! I mean, everyone lies about their adventures at sea (except me, of course- all my stories are true!).
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