The FTC Regulations | What are they?

The FTC Regulations | What are they?

If you were at the Ladybloggers event earlier this month, you’d have heard that in one country there is an actual legal requirement for bloggers to disclose when they are being paid. Last night we saw that the guidelines had also been extended to bloggers posting paid-for tweets and Facebook statuses. The guidelines are called the FTC regulations and we’ve summarised how they apply to bloggers in the United States.

What is the FTC?

The Federal Trade Commission is an independent part of the US government that protects consumers from deceptive acts by companies. (Much like a Consumer Protection act like we have here)

What do bloggers have to do?

1. Bloggers have to disclose in a conspicuous manner (no grayed out text, size 6 disclosures so that no one can see) when they have been paid.

2. Bloggers can be fined over $11000 for not doing so.

3. Bloggers have to specify when they have been given something for free.

In addition to this, the new regulations have added that:

4. Every, single sponsored/paid for status on Facebook or Tweet has to be preceded by [ad].

That’s the absolute basics.

Would you welcome regulations like these in South Africa? A lot of bloggers get frustrated because they disclose whether they’ve been paid but others haven’t. Are we willing to mention every tweet that’s been paid for?