Okay let’s talk about the elephant in the room shall we? The pathetic FTC decision to try and gain some sense of control over bloggers. Some of this is a regurgitation of this post…but I was mad enough to write another.
Right now I have in front of me 16 magazines (don’t ask-the kids stupid fund-raisers own me) and I have found about 35 ‘reviews’ in them. These are not hard hitting news journals, these are magazines purchased for their entertainment value (People, Woman’s Day, Glamour etc) And no where in the magazine does it disclose that the magazine editors were given these products to test and review. NO WHERE. And please do not try to tell me they send them BACK to the manufacturer. THEY DON’T. “We loved this lipstick you sent. We used it on a photo shoot and now I am returning it to you”…never ever happens. Why should a blogger be held to a higher, stricter standard than a publication people PAY FOR? A publication that makes MONEY? And what does the FTC say about this?
The FTC is not recommending that news outlets — newspapers, magazines, television and Internet news sites — issue similar disclosures. The FTC justifies the distinction by saying that consumers are not likely to care whether people who review items for newspapers or magazines have received free review copies.
Oh I get it Mr. FTC.
So it’s JUST US you are after.
So you have to be wondering WHY the FTC has got it out for us huh? I will tell you why….Because the FTC is sad to see traditional channels of print media go out of business. They are in a panic and are trying desperately to gain control over this new medium. But the FTC has failed to make a very real distinction between different types of blogs and blog content. Yes, some blogs are presented as NEWS with FACTUAL data. But MOST do not. The very nature and the birth of blogging was to express PERSONAL OPINION in a way that others might find entertaining. Most blogs fall into that category Mr. FTC…most are personal opinions written to entertain. And an entertainment blog should not be held to the same FTC rulings as a NEWS outlet blog. Period. End of story.
So the next question is…where will this insane meddling control end?
If my mom sent out an email to a a large number of people, and told them Nestle chocolate is the BEST and everyone should buy it with no disclaimer that Nestle PAID HER TO SEND IT, would the FTC have control over that? Would they fine her? Will they now begin to regulate how we give advice or OUR OPINIONS via phone, text, email or newsletters? How about Twitter? Are we no longer allowed to share our opinions there? What about US mail? Can I not send letters to people telling them about my new car? Even if the car was GIVEN TO ME and I failed to mention that? What if I stood up in a restaurant (who had given me a free meal) and said “Try the meatloaf! It is awesome!”…is THAT misleading the public? IS that within the scope of the FTC’s range? How on earth do blogs differ? No one pays to visit a blog. And I don’t force my way into peoples homes and MAKE them read it. And most blogs do not profess to be ANYTHING more than a source of entertainment…..few claim to be neutral un-baised forms of information. Hell, the whole concept of blogging is that it is indeed very very BIASED. A bias based on personal experience.
For one brief fleeting second I was almost flattered by the new FTC ruling. I thought…”Wow the influence of blogging is now something to be REGULATED!” And then about one second later I thought “these people are insane”.
Hey I am all for rules. But they have to be applied universally.
Anything less than that is DISCRIMINATION.
Hey who is up for a lawsuit?
Cuz I would really love to make a federal case out of this.
Suing the Federal Trade Commission might be my new hobby.
I can just see the next big Lifetime movie of the week…
“The Glamorous Life Association goes to Washington”