July 30, 2009
Pay-to-Play Blogs that Test & Review Products
The Federal Trade Commission may soon require online media to comply with disclosure rules under its truth-in-advertising guidelines; the NY Times dove into the full story earlier this month.
A draft of the new rules was posted for public comments this year and the staff is to make a formal recommendation to be presented to the commissioners for a vote, perhaps as soon as the fall.
From the article, we learn that TNT is experimenting with a paid relationship with Melanie Notkin, founder and chief executive of SavvyAuntie.com, a blog that targets aunts without children.
For some bloggers, pay-to-play is the only way. Recently during a launch of a new website, I had an email exchange with a blogger who wanted to charge for a reference and link to the new site in a blog post, something that was naturally very relevant for her audience and something her readers would love to learn about…….yet, no pay, no value-add to her readers.
There’s the $$ amount per post and there’s also the additional nominal fee (cents) every time a reader might click from the blog to a corporate site that sells the product the blogger is highlighting.
Pay-to-play isn’t new but as if it becomes more widely adopted, it will change the way readers view the credibility of blogs. It has to. It’s not where has newspapers gone? They’re sinking to their inevitable death, but it doesn’t mean that journalism ethics and integrity have to die along with them.
Full disclosure and authenticity is great but I’d hate to see advertorials and pay-to-play become the norm rather than the exception.
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