So yeah, the FTC is getting in bloggers’ business and requiring them to reveal when they’re getting free gifts or cash for reviews.
First of all, the FTC can blow me. Second of all, what gets my goat is that they’re coming down on bloggers. They should also require movies and TV shows and newspapers and radio stations to reveal who is paying them to pimp stuff. Fair is fair (the makers of The Legend of Billie Jean have not given me money to quote their movie, I did that of my own freewill). Third of all, if someone gives you money to say nice things about their product on your blog, that is a paid endorsement and if you don’t disclose that, regardless of FTC rulings, you’re a sleezebag and your readers shouldn’t trust you.
In the interest of full disclosure here is a list of companies, products and/or people who have paid me or given me stuff in hopes I would say good stuff about them:
And still in that interest of full disclosure here are a list of things I’ve actually pimped because I like them that nobody gave me money for:
- Dawson’s Creek
- Peanut Butter
- Bret Michaels’ Rock of Love
- Diet Coke with Lime
- Nutter Butters
- Pens with blue ink
- Starburst Greenbag Jellybeans
- Honeycrisp Apples
- The Loft
- Grumpy’s downtown
- Rock and Roll
I’m not saying I’m above payola*. I’m just saying nobody offered me any. Because if the very nice, intelligent, and attractive people at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment wanted to send me The Complete Series of Dawson’s Creek on DVD I would take it and sing its praises on I Will Dare until either my fingers fell off or I had memorized Jen’s Mrs. Dalloway speech from the final episode.
*Okay, that really is a lie. I am above payola. I value honesty and my own integrity too much — four years of journalism school can do that to a girl.
I value it so much I always tell the MN Reads’ reviewers that even though a publisher or publicist sends them a book (and we do get quite a few free books) they’re under no obligation to like it or, if it’s that bad, to even finish reading it. Publishers and publicists (at least the professional ones) understand that, and I’m sure they’d probably be happier if the MN Reads’ reviewers weren’t so honest in their reviews. But they are, because they can be. And I’m not going to start labeling which reviews are of free books and which books each reviewer paid money for. That is asinine.
Finally, I’d just like to say, yo, Nabisco, “I Will Dare now with more Nutter Butters!” has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it?