Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 38 of 38

Thread: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

  1. #1
    Ranger 9
    Guest

    FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    I would hope a few skanky photo-blog reviewers are quaking after reading this CNet story about new US Federal Trade Commission guidelines published today.

    Added: The FTC release is here. The actual guide is here, although the version currently online appears not to incorporate the revisions announced as effective today. And just in case you want to try making a complaint, the online Complaint Assistant is here. (The Complaint Assistant page notes that the FTC doesn't resolve individual consumer complaints, but that individual submissions "can help us detect patterns of wrong-doing, and lead to investigations and prosecutions.")

    The CNet story says that the guidelines, which last were revised in 1980, have been updated to state explictly that bloggers are among the endorsers who have a duty to disclose "material connections" (including payments or free products). Specifically (quoting CNet's quote of the FTC):

    "...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."
    The new guides also address celebrity endorsements in a way that might apply to big-name professional photographers who are "sponsored" by various manufacturers: (quoting CNet's quote of the FTC release again):

    "Celebrities have a duty to disclose their relationships with advertisers when making endorsements outside the context of traditional ads, such as on talk shows or in social media..."
    If the new guides mean what they say, and if the FTC is serious about promoting and enforcing them, all I can say is: "It's about time."

    What the FTC is calling for is nothing earthshaking by the standards of traditional newspaper journalism, where "full disclosure" has been standard for decades (other quasi-journalistic areas such as travel magazines, I'm not so sure.)

    And I doubt if any legitimate blogger is going to lose any reputation by having to include a line here and there stating (for example) "Cleikon lent me a camera body and several lenses at no charge for this review, and when they heard how much I liked it, offered to let me buy one at the dealer net price."

    In fact, I think that documenting all this stuff out in the open would have a salutary effect and improve readers' impressions of photo bloggers' credibility.

    But I'll still bet a few of them are squirming a bit, and/or trying to figure out the most inconspicuous and vague way possible of adding type to their sites saying, "Yes, I get to keep all the stuff I plug"...
    Last edited by Ranger 9; 5th October 2009 at 11:10.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    belge
    Posts
    1,492
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: Holy plugoly! FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies?!?!?

    much ado about nothing, Ranger.

  3. #3
    Ranger 9
    Guest

    Re: Holy plugoly! FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies?!?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    much ado about nothing, Ranger.
    Certainement, for someone who lives in Paris. (And please pardon my lack of correct accents.)

    But in the US, merely the fact that the Federal Trade Commission (a rather powerful body in business circles) has extended its guidelines to cover blogs and social media may cause some bloggers to change their ways, simply because they want to be seen as being in compliance.

  4. #4
    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Dublin, Texas, U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,549
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    112

    Re: Holy plugoly! FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies?!?!?

    Once more the FTC is trying to solve a problem which doesn't exist. You have to pay income tax on those freebies now if you keep them. Who ever purchased a camera because of a blog anyway?

    And encouraging people to drop a dime on some one for this is insane....

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


  5. #5
    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Central Maine, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,406
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    9

    Re: Holy plugoly! FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies?!?!?

    So many blogs, so little time. This is an example of how most of them seem to me: http://www.27bslash6.com/scott_mintred.html

  6. #6
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    FTC to regulate blogging

    Here is the AP newswire article:

    The Federal Trade Commission will try to regulate blogging for the first time, requiring writers on the Web to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products.

    The FTC said Monday its commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the final Web guidelines, which had been expected. Violating the rules, which take effect Dec. 1, could bring fines up to $11,000 per violation. Bloggers or advertisers also could face injunctions and be ordered to reimburse consumers for financial losses stemming from inappropriate product reviews.

    The commission stopped short of specifying how bloggers must disclose conflicts of interest. Rich Cleland, assistant director of the FTC's advertising practices division, said the disclosure must be "clear and conspicuous," no matter what form it will take.

    Bloggers have long praised or panned products and services online. But what some consumers might not know is that many companies pay reviewers for their write-ups or give them free products such as toys or computers or trips to Disneyland. In contrast, at traditional journalism outlets, products borrowed for reviews generally have to be returned.

    Before the FTC gave notice last November it was going to regulate such endorsements, blogs varied in the level of disclosures about these potential conflicts of interest.

    The FTC's proposal made many bloggers anxious. They said the scrutiny would make them nervous about posting even innocent comments.

    To placate such fears, Cleland said the FTC will more likely go after an advertiser instead of a blogger for violations. The exception would be a blogger who runs a "substantial" operation that violates FTC rules and already received a warning, he said.

    Existing FTC rules already banned deceptive and unfair business practices. The final guidelines aim to clarify the law for the vast world of blogging. Not since 1980 had the commission revised its guidelines on endorsements and testimonials.

    Cleland said a blogger who receives a freebie without the advertiser knowing would not violate FTC guidelines. For example, someone who gets a free bag of dog food as part of a promotion from a pet shop wouldn't violate FTC guidelines if he writes about the product on his blog.

    Blogger Linsey Krolik said she's always disclosed any freebies she's received on products she writes about, but has stepped up her efforts since last fall. She said she adds a notice at the end of a post, "very clear in italics or bold or something this is the deal. It's not kind of buried."
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  7. #7
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    etrigan63's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Earth, Sol System (near Miami, FL)
    Posts
    2,501
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: FTC to regulate blogging

    Bout frickin' time. I know several successful bloggers who are paid $20K for their "Best of" logo to get it stamped on a product. I and several others considered this to be outrageously unethical which is probably why I not a rich blogger.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

  8. #8
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Manchester/Jerusalem
    Posts
    2,652
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    290

    Re: FTC to regulate blogging

    Sounds good to me..
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

  9. #9
    Oxide Blu
    Guest

    Re: FTC to regulate blogging

    This is going to put a knife into the heart of 'guerrilla' advertising tactics. Kind of takes the fun out of it.

  10. #10
    ddk
    Guest

    Re: FTC to regulate blogging

    The same practices have been going on in print media since long before the internet, wonder why they're only regulating the net. Most of the so called professional reviews are more marketing tools for manufacturers rather than consumer resources, would be nice if they could really curb the practice.

  11. #11
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: FTC to regulate blogging

    Great idea maybe get rid of some of the BS being said.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  12. #12
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Manchester/Jerusalem
    Posts
    2,652
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    290

    Re: FTC to regulate blogging

    Will be interesting to see whose going to start owning up...
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,513
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: FTC to regulate blogging

    As the article suggests, the disclosure of what may have been received includes trips and other sorts of benefits. If we put this in context of recent stuff, then folks like Michael Reichmann, Phil Askey, Sean Reid and David Farkas should be letting us know if the entire trip, or what part of the trip to handle the Leica M9 and S2 they are reviewing (or will review) was paid for by Leica. Just saying that Leica asked them to come and check things out seems to fall short, if Leica picked up the airfare, the lodging, meals, and any other things, including a discount on any gear they may have purchased.

    Not trying to put these folks in a box or anything like that, just looking at how something very recent, along with the ensuing blogs, discussions, etc., play into this scenario. It seems like at least a start to at least let folks know who may be schilling for a manufacturer, versus those that are providing info up front against possible biases in their reviews.

    LJ

  14. #14
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Manchester/Jerusalem
    Posts
    2,652
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    290

    Re: FTC to regulate blogging

    MR has already admitted to having his air fare paid for that trip, long thread on his site on the subject where he doesn't feel that it would require disclosure.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

  15. #15
    ddk
    Guest

    Re: FTC to regulate blogging

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Great idea maybe get rid of some of the BS being said.
    Good intentions but very difficult to enforce though, and impossible if bloggers register their blogs overseas.

  16. #16
    Ranger 9
    Guest

    Re: FTC to regulate blogging

    Cheez, I started a thread on this yesterday and got nothing but a couple of comments pooh-poohing the whole thing as either a tempest in a teapot or another example of gummint intrusion. Now Jack starts a thread and people actually pay attention!

    To clarify a bit, the FTC hasn't actually said it's going to start regulating blogs. All it did was update its previous guideline on endorsements (last updated in 1980) to make clear that favorable comments in blogs and social media do count as endorsements, so if "material consideration" is involved, it must be disclosed.

    The FTC's own news release on the update is here, and the guideline itself is here (although as of now the online version still doesn't include the 2009 revisions, even though they took effect yesterday.)

    Important: The FTC guideline doesn't say that material consideration for endorsements is illegal; it simply says it should be disclosed. In other words, the agency feels users should be able to decide for themselves whether or not to factor this in when deciding how much to trust an endorsement; the agency just wants the information to be available.

    As previously, the FTC doesn't investigate and resolve individual consumer complaints, although they keep track of them in a database which they make available to law-enforcement agencies. Although that might sound toothless, it isn't really. I can't talk about my job here, but I work for a large company in an industry where FTC compliance is a Big Deal. The primary enforcement arm isn't the government -- it's your competitors, who are always scrutinizing everything you do in hopes of catching you out of compliance on something. (The FTC tends to be sympathetic to a company that can say it's at a competitive disadvantage because it's following the rules while its competitor isn't.) Another incentive to comply comes from states' attorneys general -- this is an elective office, and high-visibility prosecutions are a good way for an attorney general to make him/herself popular with voters (in other words, "Jones Cracks Down on Dishonest Bloggers" would make a great headline around election time.)

    I don't really know whether this will have an effect on photo-bloggers or not, but I think it should. If anything, it should add to the credibility of blogs, bloggers and endorsers who show they're in compliance.

    And what if some blog/photog were to post: "Cleikobladiya's gear is okay, but the main reason I use it is that they give me free equipment and send me on cushy junkets where they pay for my travel, lodging, food, booze and lap dances"? Heck, I'd probably salute his honesty and chutzpah, and put his blog on my regular reading list!

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,513
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: FTC to regulate blogging

    Good to know, Ben. I sort of stopped following all the side discussions and stuff after the initial flurry of reviews and ensuing discussions started beating things to death. MR has been pretty upfront on most things most of the time, but no way to know about most others.....especially beyond this more limited and somewhat "mainstream" one or two.

    As for his feeling about it not requiring disclosure.....well, if he has nothing to hide against possible bias, there should not be an issue to let folks know just how generous Leica may have been to encourage a nice write-up......

    LJ

  18. #18
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: FTC to regulate blogging

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger 9 View Post
    Cheez, I started a thread on this yesterday and got nothing but a couple of comments pooh-poohing the whole thing as either a tempest in a teapot or another example of gummint intrusion. Now Jack starts a thread and people actually pay attention!
    Sorry Ranger, never saw your post! I am merging the threads now.

    PS: As a sidebar note, I do find that how you phrase your title sometimes makes a significant difference in how many participate in the post, so I slightly re-edited your original title...
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  19. #19
    Ranger 9
    Guest

    Re: FTC to regulate blogging

    MR has already admitted to having his air fare paid for that trip, long thread on his site on the subject where he doesn't feel that it would require disclosure.
    Whereas the new FTC guideline seems to make pretty clear that it would. It's hard to argue that international airfare isn't a "material consideration."

    Any kingpin blogger may feel it's his imperial prerogative to keep his swag score confidential, but my take on it as a reader is a bit different. People may write blogs for any number of reasons, but I read them for my own benefit.

    When would it ever not be to my benefit to have material considerations disclosed? I can't think of a single circumstance in which I feel I'd be better off not knowing.

    In the vast majority of cases, I expect I wouldn't feel the disclosures influenced my evaluation of the writer's credibility. But I'd rather have the info so I can decide for myself.

    I have a degree in journalism, and when it came to potential conflicts of interest, we were taught to follow the "Caesar's wife" principle: Try to be above even suspicion. Whenever possible, avoid situations that might present even the slightest appearance of conflict of interest, and fully disclose the situations you can't avoid.

  20. #20
    Ranger 9
    Guest

    Re: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    Keeping on my journalistic-ethicist hat for the moment: To illustrate the slipperiness of this slope, I'm going to propose some hypothetical but plausible scenarios, and then say how I as a reader (as opposed, say, to an FTC lawyer) would feel about whether there was a "material consideration" that should be disclosed. Try them on for yourself... what do you think?

    Scenario I: Photo-tech blog A, which routinely tests new equipment, receives a sample of a new camera from the importer, subjects it to their usual series of tests, publishes their findings, then returns the sample to the importer. My take: No disclosure required; anyone who reads photo tests probably realizes that this is a reasonable and standard practice.

    Scenario II: Photographer/blogger X, who writes about his personal impressions on a variety of photo topics including equipment, receives a sample of a new camera from the importer, gives it a field test, publishes his thoughts, then returns the sample to the importer. My take: No disclosure required; as with Scenario I, this would seem a reasonable and standard practice.

    Now it gets trickier...

    Scenario IIb: As with the above, photographer/blogger X receives a sample of a new camera to try. In addition to using it for test photography, he uses it for some of his professional assignments. He then publishes his thoughts and returns the sample. My take: It's a close call, but I would want this to be disclosed. After all, one of X's competitors who wanted to use the same camera on a job would have had to rent it, so there's a "material consideration" involved. The fact that X was willing to trust his livelihood to the test camera actually would make his report more credible in my eyes, but I think disclosure would be appropriate regardless.

    Scenario IIc: As with Scenario II, X tries the sample, publishes his conclusions, and sends the sample back. He likes the camera so much that he then goes to his dealer and buys one with his own money. My take: No disclosure required. Again, the fact that he liked the camera that much might add credibility, but what he does with his own money is his business.

    Scenario IId: Again as with Scenario II, X tries and returns the sample. He likes the camera a lot and wants to buy one -- so he contacts his importer contact, who gives him the opportunity to buy one at a discounted price. My take: I'd definitely want disclosure on this one. Even though it doesn't seem much different from Scenario IIc, the fact that he received a price that isn't generally available to the public constitutes a "material consideration." It might lead me to conclude that he's got an especially cozy relationship with this manufacturer, and I'd want to take that into account when evaluating his writings.

    On to another scenario:

    Scenario III: A manufacturer is introducing a new line of equipment at a news conference at its headquarters in Gheg, Albania. Blogger Z, who writes regularly about this manufacturer's products, receives an invitation to attend. The manufacturer pays the airfare of the press attendees, including Blogger Z. My take: Close call, but I'd want disclosure. International air travel is such a PIA that the airfare is almost a penalty rather than an inducement! But since presumably there might have been other bloggers who wanted to attend, but couldn't because they did not receive free airfare, the manufacturer's accommodation to Blogger Z constitutes singling him out for special treatment, and I'd want to know about that.

    Scenario IIIb: Same as above -- except that in addition to airfare, the manufacturer invites Blogger Z to spend a long weekend in Gheg testing the new equipment, picking up the tab for his lodging, meals and incidentals, hiring some models for him to photograph, etc. My take: Come on, we've got to have full disclosure on this one! The manufacturer might argue that it simply was facilitating a field test, but such a cushy arrangement surely is a textbook example of a "junket."

    Something different but very recognizable:

    Scenario IV: Blogger A is a well-known professional shooter, how-to author, and workshop instructor whose popular blog features entertaining accounts of his experiences, snippets of his philosophy of photography, how-to tips, etc. He's well-known as a user of gear by Manufacturer B and mentions its equipment frequently. Recognizing the value of this, Manufacturer B furnishes him with free and loaner equipment for his own use and at his workshops and provides him with other services not generally available to the public. My take: A's relationship with B has to be disclosed, and that's not just my opinion; it's exactly analogous to one of the situations in the FTC guideline, the one involving the race-car driver endorsing a brand of tire. Since the public is likely to recognize the endorser as a racer, not simply as a product pitchman, the guideline says any material consideration he receives must be disclosed.

    I can think of others, but that's enough to get started...

  21. #21
    Ranger 9
    Guest

    Re: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    Oops, just thought of another thing:

    Even in my Scenarios I and II, it's possible that a competing blog or blogger that did NOT receive sample equipment from that manufacturer (possibly as punishment for past unfavorable reviews?) would feel that the subject blog was getting a competitive advantage by receiving samples not available to others. The competitor might argue that this competitive advantage constitutes a "material consideration" and requires disclosure.

    And looked at that way, I'd have to agree. I'd have to say that as a reader, I'd prefer to have disclosure of anything a blogger receives that isn't readily available to the general public. As noted earlier, this wouldn't necessarily reduce the blogger's credibility -- I just want to know about it, that's all.

  22. #22
    nautilus
    Guest

    Re: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    Im looking forward to getting the information if Ken Rockwell is sponsored by all camera manufacturers or nobody. ;-)

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,513
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    There are so many lines that can be crossed that are of benefit to either or both sides, as well as beneficial to the larger readership/potential buyers at large. It does not seem like such a big deal for those reviewing or blogging about gear to be upfront if there has been any sort of consideration given, directly measurable or not. If the OEM is looking for only favorable press and a positive review, they have a lot more means to influence reviewers/writers than not. That is sort of business as is and many readers understand that. They eventually "vote" by not reading the blogs and reviews that do not interest them. The harder part is the more unknowing public that go look at a review to help them in the decision process, and may not have access to the gear to make the same sort of evaluations. I know that I have told many folks that have been interested in some camera or lens to go to some sites, read the reviews, and that has helped them narrow things down sometimes. That is sort of the point. For folks that have a lot of familiarity with gear, they can usually quickly read through the BS of the reviewer or blogger, but for a lot more folks that do not have that sort of knowledge, they can be more easily swayed or even duped into leaning toward one type of gear over another. Let's face it, the issue is mostly about ethics, which is merely another word in the language, not something they ever care as much about. My father used to tell me that the only thing you take to your grave is your name/reputation. My rebellious/flippant reply used to be but then you are dead so what does it matter. I quickly learned that it is far, far better to be open and honest if you are going to weigh in on something, as trust is what will carry you through good times and bad. Once you lose that trust, as many bloggers do routinely, it is hard to regain. Think of all the heat Leica has taken for the slippage of trust in its products over the past several years. They are killing themselves to regain that among loyal followers as well as to gain new customers. How much is that cost over time, versus being more open and honest from the start? Not saying they are hiding anything, but Leica could also have publicly said they were inviting a bunch of folks on a junket to check out the new gear, and they were both proud of the gear, and hoped others would appreciate it also. Instead, we get NDAs, some subtle and direct influence for reviewers to publish the good points and maybe glide past some of the less stellar points. Not a way to win my trust.

    This is not to rail at Leica, or any reviewer in particular. I stopped reading many reviews where I know the reviewer was receiving something for a more positive consideration to write more about only the good. I still like reading what folks have to say and seeing what things look like, but I learned long ago that one has to take it with lots of grains of salt....some more than others, and then do your own testing if you can. That last part is the most difficult for the less skilled, as 20 minutes in a camera shop with a hovering and somewhat pushy salesperson is not the best evaluation setting.

    Just a long way of saying that I would much rather see full disclosure of benefits, considerations, etc., and then an honest evaluation, warts and all. Hoping the "hit their wallet" approach gets the attention of the less scrupulous, but I am still too cynical to believe this will straighten things out.

    LJ

  24. #24
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: FTC to regulate blogging

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Will be interesting to see whose going to start owning up...
    Ben maybe not so much that but it is going to be very easy to turn someone in. Just the investigation alone will be deadly be it they are guilty or not does not matter. It will stop a lot of folks dead in there tracks. Just the hint of impropriety will ruin someones reputation.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    California/Thailand
    Posts
    1,206
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    I actually feel that disclosure of special discounts or air-fare, lodging, etc. would make for a much better review. For example: "Leica were kind enough to provide air-fare, lodging and meals so the I could participate in a previewing of the new blah-blah..."

    IOW if I were a reviewer I would put it right out in front to show that I'm not ashamed of it. Taking the "there's no need for disclosure" seems counter intuitive to me, and in fact suggests that it might be controversial. I say put it out there and show that you're not afraid of truths. It makes the review more credible IMO. Use it as an advantage, rather than pretend that people are stupid and don't think about this stuff.

  26. #26
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Manchester/Jerusalem
    Posts
    2,652
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    290

    Re: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    On the other hand can you imagine the forums Guy?

    "X had a free soda at PMA from the manufacturer, we all know that son of a *bleep* is a biased *beep* let's all discount anything he ever said."

    Heck they've been saying for years that MR was on the canon payroll just because he used and reported on them for years. I personally don't think he ever was but now that he's shooting with Sony and Nikon, were he to say anything about being lent gear or having them sponser a workshop, boy you can imagine the flames from the great unwashed.

    Perhaps this kind of thing is needed for those who are not savy enough to work it out at present but perhaps those are the same people who won't see past the disclosure to the truths inside...
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

  27. #27
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    Exactly it could be a mess. Just think piss someone off and bam!!!!!
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  28. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,513
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Exactly it could be a mess. Just think piss someone off and bam!!!!!
    But let's face it.....someone is ALWAYS going to piss somebody off with what they may say or report. The issue becomes one of credibility over time. If a reviewer/blogger has been up-front, honest and discloses stuff, folks will see that as his reputation, and that will help carry things should somebody fire off a poison pen note to the FTC. Any investigation will be quickly dispatched if it is known that X does not take stuff on the side, and speaks candidly.

    Just cannot see a downside to the folks that disclose things and then honestly report what their impressions or evaluations are. The other ones that like to BS and toss out crap will catch a lot more flak, as they should.

    In the end, the buyer/reader is still the one responsible for any decision they may make. This just seems like a tool to give them a bit more info to help decide how much bias may or may not be in the review.

    LJ

  29. #29
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    I agree LJ but the possibility of it being a nightmare is there.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  30. #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,513
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    Put another way.....if Leica GAVE me an S2 and lenses and said go play with it for several months and then write something about it, you can bet I would be positively disposed toward them. I would probably find "excuses" to edit out the little niggles, while talking about all the good stuff. If I were to start such a review with the disclosure, folks would immediately know that there was maybe some indebtedness and could more easily know how many grains of salt to take with the review ;-) Leica would not have to "ask" or "request" I write something positive, but the expectation might be rather implicit. On the other hand, I know me well enough that if I saw something ugly, I would spill on that regardless of how many lenses they let me keep, and that would pretty much probably end that gravy train for me from them ;-)

    Just too much incentive for too much coziness between OEM and reviewers that are not more bound to ethical reporting right now, so this FTC effort is an attempt to try to get things more open. If the worry or threat of being called out is real enough to keep some folks from spewing BS, we all win on that front.

    LJ

  31. #31
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,513
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I agree LJ but the possibility of it being a nightmare is there.
    Guy, I fully understand your point here. If there was any bad blood or friction say between X and Y, one could try to undermine the other with so much as a an unproven hint of something wrong, and everything could grind to a halt. Not a good thing at all. That is why it just seems the best thing to do on the reviewer or bloggers part is put all the info out at the start. Nothing to hide will mean little to lose if swords got crossed.

    "The Truth Shall Set You Free". Yeah, I spent too much time with those guys many ages ago.....

    LJ

  32. #32
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    32 31' 37.06" N, 111 6' 0.9" W
    Posts
    4,333
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    Not a bad idea at all. Reminds me of commercials where a big brand actor is explaining just how good a certain product is and you see "paid endorsement" in fine print. Same should apply.

    Just my 2 worth...
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
    Blog
    Tucson AZ

  33. #33
    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Dublin, Texas, U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,549
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    112

    Re: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    This can get insane. For a while it was with goverment contracts you could even buy a cheap lunch. We had several Contracts at NASA Houston. A good friend ask me too look up his nephew who had just taken a job there and see how he was doing. We had no contracts in his area but I couldn't even buy him lunch. Later such nonsense was changed to a limit of 15 dollars for lunch. Oh, it was in the NASA cafeteria so we were both badged.

    Did you know Byte magaziine was founded as a scam to get free software?

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


  34. #34
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    John I do a lot of work for defense contractors and these policies are very strict. I can't buy them lunch nor can they buy me lunch. We have to do separate checks. Also same with travel I have to pay everything out of my pocket than invoice for that since it is part of my expense. They can't buy me a plane ticket to do there job for example. This part is almost with every client I have regardless of government contract. If they want me in Thailand i pay the freight for all the travel expenses to get there than I have to wait the 30, 45 or yes even 75 days to get paid. I have a client that is 75 days out on all jobs.

    But the bottom line it is clean and cut dry to the bone and no questions.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  35. #35
    Oxide Blu
    Guest

    Re: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    This is s no-brainer ... sit in Calif, host your website on a server in Canada, no new FTC rule to worry about.

  36. #36
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    919
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    5

    Re: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    Ranger9

    sure send your email... but don't even mention GetDPI... you have no right to use our names even by proxy ... I am surprised Jack and Guy havent stomped all over you on this.. you do not and cannot represent the views of get DPI.

    I don't care what your bugbear is over this issue.. but it is your issue and not that of the forum as a whole

    Jack, Guy... knock this on the head now

    K

  37. #37
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Terry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    6,955
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1145

    Re: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    I'm locking this thread for the moment. Ranger, GetDPI's name should not be used in any correspondence without express permission from the owners of GetDPI as you don't represent the group and perhaps, the owners views.

  38. #38
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: FTC to crack down on review-blog freebies. Holy plugoly!?!?!?

    Jack and I rather this not go out with our name on it. This is not in GetDPI's best interest and we will have to maintain a neutral state with regards to the FTC ruling. It is up to each individual , blogger, reviewer and any other person this law that touches those individuals on a legal basis and Get DPI will not step in the middle of any law or political debate . Thanks this thread will remain locked and certain items deleted from the forum postings. Thank you for your understanding


    Thank you folks for bringing this to our attention .
    The Admins
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •