Sunday, October 18, 2009

I don't get it...

Hey, check out this website! If you want to be a pastry chef like me, or just go to culinary school, then this will help your search for the perfect food education!

Anyway, I was reading an odd article on the New York Times website. According to the Federal Trade Commission, "Beginning Dec. 1, bloggers, Twitterers and many others who write online product reviews must disclose the receipt of free merchandise or payment for the items they write about. The guidelines, an update of the F.T.C.’s 1980 guide concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, will affect many in the beauty and fashion blogging community, where freebies ($40 eye-shadow palates, $250 clutch purses and, yes, $69 jeans) are rampant. The rules reflect the commission’s concern about how advertisers are using bloggers and social networking sites to pitch their products."

***Hey, do you like to cook? You should go to culinary school! Start your career here!***

I don't understand how this is humanly possible, and I also don't understand why bloggers have been targeted. People have been paid to talk about how they liked products for decades and maybe centuries. Yes, popular bloggers receive free stuff sometimes. Yes, bloggers even get paid to do their jobs.

Hey, you know what? I really value my pastry school education.

I don't really have a problem with the FTC's law, assuming it is protecting the consumer and not per chance having anything to do with...say... lobbyists. What bothers me is that fashion magazines, television, movies, and the radio have been doing this forever. Do you know how sales of a pair of jeans go up when a celebrity is wearing them? Do you think that celeb actually paid for those jeans? And it's not just the pages in magazines labeled "advertisement" that are doing paid advertising. I've even heard rumors of clothing stores giving away clothes to popular kids in high schooles. So why do bloggers and twitterers (tweeters? twits?) have do disclose every time a company sent them a product to sample and write about? I certainly would not write about a product if I didn't like it- free or not.

By the way, owners of fine Seattle dining establishments, I would be happy to write a review about your restaurant if you give me a free dinner. Can't promise it'll be a good one, but why don't you send me a couple gift certificates and we can see what I think?

Lastly, another paragraph in the article states, "Even before the new rules, some bloggers identified posts that advertisers paid them to write as 'sponsored.' But most don’t have formal disclosure policies, or they tend to use ambiguous language about giveaways."

Maybe I am missing something.

This article was 'sponsored' by

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