FTC: Bloggers Must Disclose Payments for Reviews


I think this is good news…but I wonder how it will change some reviews as we know it. We know alot of reviews are bought with swag and stuff. Perhaps we will get some better reviews in the future.

PHILADELPHIA β€” The Federal Trade Commission will require bloggers to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products.
It is the first time since 1980 that the commission has revised its guidelines on endorsements and testimonials, and the first time the rules have covered bloggers.
But the commission stopped short Monday of specifying how bloggers must disclose any conflicts of interest.
The FTC said its commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the final guidelines, which had been expected. Penalties include up to $11,000 in fines per violation.
The rules take effect Dec. 1.

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Written by: Eddie - Contributing Editor


  1. #1 by Trev on October 6th, 2009 [ 26623 Points ]

    is this law only applicable in the USA?

  2. #2 by Paranoimia on October 6th, 2009

    I’d imagine so. The FTC doesn’t have any jurisdiction in the UK or Europe, for example. Though I guess it won’t be long before others follow suit.

  3. #3 by Eddie on October 6th, 2009 [ 44542 Points ]

    Well I recall on Australian reviewer saying that they even got hookers and blow for good reviews and he was serious.

  4. #4 by mcloki on October 6th, 2009 [ 2355 Points ]

    I doubt we’ll get better reviews. We may get less reviews. Or just more corporate sponsored bloggers.

    “I really liked Sonic:Regurgita 2: The Repackaging, but I really, really liked it. THe hookers and blow had nothing to do with it.
    ;-0

  5. #5 by JimmyMagnum on October 6th, 2009 [ 83111 Points ]

    I think less reviews is a possibility. As far as better reviews go, not so sure. We might finally get more honest reviews, but that isn’t going to stop the fanboy reviews, because they’ll talk up a game for free anyway (Halo, Gears of War, etc).

    The games you could really see fanboyism would be the ones who have ratings that vary immensely, gaining scores between, say, 6/10 to 9/10, where the majority of the scores were between, say, the 6 and 7/10.

    The question is, will “bloggers” in the US even take the law seriously or be completely honest? Odds are, probably not. One thing is for sure, though, most sites that do reviews, the reviewer usually gets a copy of the game for free (which, in a sense, is kind of a bribery, but that hasn’t stopped some bad reviews from coming in before), but a lot of smaller sites use their own money to purchase games and, by far, have far more honest reviews on games (as long as they take reviews seriously and don’t use any fanboyish tactics). The ones to really look out for are the reviews done by big media companies like IGN and GameSpot

  6. #6 by handy akku on October 6th, 2009

    Hi,
    Thanks for this update.This is really good news in the blog industry.They have taken right step for the review system.

  7. #7 by Durr Hurr on October 7th, 2009

    I rarely pay much attention to individual reviewers. I usually turn to sources that aggregate reviews to get an idea of how good/bad something is (especially something as subjective as games/movies/music). Things like Metafilter, Rotten Tomatoes, and Amazon customer reviews are usually a good way to determine how good or bad something truly is. I have found that comments and ratings from a large number of real people who have actually used a product are generally a lot more accurate than the opinion of a single reviewer, paid or not.

  8. #8 by Tommy on October 26th, 2009

    This should hopefully give a better indication of what people really think about games. Although I hope to Keep getting free stuff.


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