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Tuesday, October 06, 2009


not sure this is a bad idea. I get free copies of books I review, but that doesn't change how I review them. I think the more transparency the better in things like this. Though as one of your fb commenters noted, how can this possibly be enforced?

I think it is a good idea as a whole, but enforceability seems to be near impossibility. Still, I hate hitting a (paid) review saying a product is wonderful when I know it sucks.

I'm like you, I only write about a product if I truly like it and want to recommend it. I figure only about 10% of the items I receive get a mention on my blog.

I receive very little, probably because I ignore most of the stuff -- which is not much -- sent to me.

It won't slow product freebies at all. Audience exposure with a disclaimer is still inexpensive advertising.

It might, however, harm blogs that are open shills for advertisers. (There are many such blogs.) However, I question how many of these bloggers will be aware of the law and choose to obey it.

Are magazine and newspaper reviewers held to these standards? I don't recall seeing disclaimers in technology reviews, and I've known some reviewers who get to keep quite a few nice gadgets. I don't trust magazine reviews one iota.

I tend to agree that many of the worst offenders are the ones who won't even know the rules changed.

As for newspapers, there are no FTC rulings that I'm aware of. As I moved from newspaper to newspaper, internal policies varied. At some newspapers, the products were reviewed (or not) and then donated or auctioned for charitable causes.

I should point out that newspapers received only a tiny amount of non-media material to review. I'd say 90 percent of the stuff was books, CDs and DVDs. A large number of those were advance copies that couldn't (or shouldn't) be sold or even given away.

The remaining 10 percent tended to be holiday promotions, cookies, fruit baskets and a few bottles of cheap wine.

Magazine policies also varied a lot, though I wasn't aware of any specific policies. The exception, of course, is Consumer Reports, which buys everything it tests. It rejects all submitted material.

i went to the same school as patrick. i remeber those girls from my school who wrote in. they were white trash...i always felt so bad for them.

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