ATTENTION, BKR Readers!!!
It has come to my attention that new FTC Guidelines were put in effect as of October 5th, 2009. A blogger who doesn’t state where they got the product they are reviewing, from whom, or if they got paid for their opinion, can be charged up to $11,000.
“The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long standing principle that “material connections” (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect – must be disclosed. These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other “word-of-mouth” marketers. The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service.”
Now, being Canadian , I’m not sure how those new guidelines would affect me. But, seeing as how I wouldn’t even know how to afford to pay up to $11,000 for not stating where, how and from whom I got the book I reviewed, I will simply state this:
I pride myself on my honesty in my opinions in my reviews, regardless of where I got the book. Most of my books are purchased through Chapters-Indigo-Coles, Amazon (US & CDN), at used bookstores, or borrowed from a friend. If, at any time, I received a book – for free – to review or to post as a contest/giveaway, I will state on that precise review/contest/giveaway, where that book came from. I have never, ever, been paid to review a book (I don’t work for the New York Times, Toronto Star or Maclean’s Magazine). And any publisher, marketing company or author, who has ever sent me a book previous to these new guidelines, knew they can count on my honesty – a free book does not guarantee a glowing review and recommendation from me.