Tuesday, October 06, 2009

When You're Famous, EVERYONE Gives You Free Stuff


The F.T.C. said that beginning on Dec. 1, bloggers who review products must disclose any connection with advertisers, including, in most cases, the receipt of free products and whether or not they were paid in any way by advertisers, as occurs frequently. The new rules also take aim at celebrities, who will now need to disclose any ties to companies, should they promote products on a talk show or on Twitter. A second major change, which was not aimed specifically at bloggers or social media, was to eliminate the ability of advertisers to gush about results that differ from what is typical — for instance, from a weight loss supplement.

I don't understand this at all. Isn't it far in excess of what is required of reviewers in traditional media? When's the last time someone in Rolling Stone disclosed that they received a free copy of the album they're reviewing? Or do they have to now?

Also, when you're even moderately famous, everyone gives you free stuff all the time. Heck, my limited Pittsburgh rock stardom still got me free cappuccinos at Ocean State Coffee Roasters years later. Mmm... delicious, but sadly, out of business. Perhaps they were giving away too much coffee to former almost-rock stars.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I received free goods and/or services from Ocean State Coffee Roasters.


Stephen Downes said...

I'm rather more interested - but honestly don't expect to see disclosure - in the lobbying dollars being spent to produce advocacy blogs in our field.

I'm sure there are some, I'd like to know which, and who is paying for them.

Alice Mercer said...

Dh used to get free coffee whenever he took our son out to the local coffee place, or Starbucks. He seemed to think it had something to do with the "unexpectedness" of a man caring for a child, grrrr!

Alice Mercer said...

here, Michael Chabon shares a similar experience to my dh, only he was up the road in Berkeley. Is this just a West Coast thing, overpraising fathers for breathing and holding a kid?

Tom Hoffman said...

Well... nobody gives me free coffee for doing it here...