Many bloggers accept perks such as free laptops, trips to Europe, $500 gift cards or even thousands of dollars for a 200-word post. Bloggers vary in how they disclose such freebies, if they do so at all.
The practice has grown to the degree that the Federal Trade Commission is paying attention. New guidelines, expected to be approved late this summer with possible modifications, would clarify that the agency can go after bloggers — as well as the companies that compensate them — for any false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest. Any type of blog could be scrutinized, not just ones that specialize in reviews
A blogger on TravelingMom was whisked away on a free Disney cruise in January. She stayed in an ocean-view stateroom, where she was greeted by Champagne on ice and a plate of cheese and fruit. Later in the trip, she and other bloggers basked in the sun on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island. She did disclose the free trip.
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. He enjoys following and reporting Microsoft news and developments in the world of Personal Computing & Social Media.